It took about a year, but it looks like the legal wrangling over Dennis Wideman‘s 20-game (and then ultimately 10-game) suspension for running into a lineman is finally over.
As mentioned back in June, the NHL filed a suit to restore Wideman’s suspension back to 20 games, but U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan sided in favor with Wideman and the NHLPA on Wednesday, as Reuters reports.
Nathan found that “it is at least arguable that the arbitrator (James Oldham) applied the standard of review bargained for in the CBA,” thus keeping the suspension at 10 games. You may remember that the league parted ways with Oldham last summer.
The NHL responded with this written statement:
“We obviously disagree with the court’s decision today, but also recognize the very high judicial standard we needed to meet to disturb the arbitrator’s decision. While we believe we met that standard, we are prepared to turn the page and move on. We are hopeful that, if and when there is next an appeal proceeding involving supplementary discipline, the Neutral Discipline Arbitrator will properly apply the standard of review we and the NHLPA negotiated and agreed to in collective bargaining. That was clearly not done in this case.”
So … that’s probably all over now? Let’s hope so.