Dennis Wideman‘s suspension saga isn’t over.
The NHL has filed a lawsuit against the NHLPA over Wideman’s suspension for hitting linesman Don Henderson from behind being reduced from 20 games to 10 by a neutral arbitrator back in March. The NHL hopes to restore the original 20-game suspension, per TSN.
“We believe that Arbitrator Oldham, in reaching his decision, exceeded his contractual authority by failing to properly apply the parties’ collectively bargained standard of review,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.
“Today’s action was motivated primarily by our regard for the collective bargaining process and the importance of maintaining and safeguarding the parties’ reasonable expectations arising from the agreements made in that process.”
NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said that the union was disappointed, but are “confident this action is completely without merit and that the court will agree.”
You can check TSN for their complete statements.
Because of the length of Wideman’s appeal process, he had already served 19 games of the suspension before it got lowered to 10. The decision to reduce his suspension did make a difference financially though as he got back half of the $564,516 he was expected to forfeit.
Prior to the arbitrator’s ruling, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reviewed and upheld the original suspension length, adding that he was “troubled by Mr. Wideman’s total failure to accept any responsibility for his actions.”
Wideman argues that his hit was “completely accidental” and he “had no intent on hitting Donnie at all.”