Flames' Wideman apologizes, says he's 'disappointed' in suspension

BY foxsports • February 4, 2016

Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman made a public appearance on Thursday, issuing another apology to linesman Don Henderson before declaring he was "disappointed" with the 20-game suspension handed down by the league for making contact with the official.

Wideman had been suspended indefinitely by the NHL following his cross-check to an unsuspecting Henderson during Calgary's 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Jan. 27. The 32-year-old Wideman met with officials in Toronto on Tuesday to discuss the incident, with the NHL deeming the following day that the defenseman violated Rule 40 (Physical Abuse of Officials).

Wideman did not answer questions on Thursday with the NHL Players' Association appealing his suspension on his behalf, but did read through his notes. Via Calgary Herald:

"Firstly, I want to apologize to Donnie Henderson. I feel awful about what happened. Hopefully, he's recovering and he's going to be back on the ice soon, but I feel really bad about the whole situation. The last seven days have been tough.

"Never in my career have I ever disrespected or done anything like this to an official. I think I’ve prided myself on having a great working relationship with the officials, and I hope to continue that when I get out there. But again, I just want to apologize to Donnie. I feel awful about what happened.

"As far as the suspension goes, I'm really disappointed with the decision and the length of the suspension. I did not have any intent at any time to hit the official or hurt him or anything like that. I would never do something like that, and I’m pretty disappointed with the decision."

Wideman contended that he experienced "pretty good pain in my shoulder and neck" following a hit from Nashville's Miikka Salomaki. The veteran, who cleared the league's concussion protocol before skating with his teammates on Thursday, isn't eligible to return until March 14 against the St. Louis Blues.

Wideman, who has two goals and 17 assists this season, has recorded 94 tallies and set up 275 others in 755 career contests with the Blues, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals and Flames.