The Dennis Wideman saga took another turn on Wednesday evening.
In the video explanation for Wideman’s 20-game suspension for hitting linesman Don Henderson, the league revealed that — after the Flames-Preds game in which the incident occurred — Wideman was diagnosed with a concussion, potentially suffered on a hit he took moments before colliding with Henderson.
“It is accepted for the purposes of this decision that he was later diagnosed as having suffered a concussion,” the NHL explained. “However, that fact even accepted as true, cannot excuse Wideman’s subsequent actions.
“First, although he appears to get up slowly from being checked, Wideman skates steadily and purposefully to his bench, taking a half dozen strides to get there. Wideman also demonstrates his continued awareness of his circumstances and surroundings when, upon approaching the Calgary blueline, he raises his stick and taps it on the ice to alert his teammates that he’s coming off for a line change.”
The hit Wideman took — delivered by Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki — was judged to be a “hard, legal check.”
It should be mentioned that 1) there’s been no confirmation that Wideman’s injury was a direct result of the Salomaki collision, and 2) the league made mention of the fact Wideman refused medical attention while on the bench, and remained in the game.