Protecting Hockey’s Cops

Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman is suspended indefinitely for his “barbaric” hit on National Hockey League linesman Don Henderson. After taking a hit from Nashville Predators forward Miika Salomaki in the defensive zone, Wideman was dazed on his way back to the Calgary Flames bench. As he skated to the bench, Wideman hit Henderson the second he looked up, trying to get out of the way.

This was Wideman’s response to the incident:

The hit has prompted a lot of discussion about whether or not Wideman should be suspended or not.

Was it intentional? Probably not.

Does he deserve a suspension? Yes.

Why does Wideman deserve a suspension? To set a precedent. The National Hockey League does not want to let Wideman off the hook for harming an official. Further, the league does not want to permit other players to follow suit. Wideman might have to face at most 10 games for the hit.

If the league wants to set a precedent of harming an official, there should also be a suspension for Los Angeles Kings’ forward Milan Lucic. In the middle of a scrum, Lucic wanted to punch Colorado Avalanche forward Cody McLeod, but found Jay Sharrers’ jaw instead.

If the National Hockey League suspends Dennis Wideman for what he calls an accidental hit on a linesman (which Wideman apologized for), the same needs to be done to Milan Lucic. Also, Lucic had just returned from a one-game suspension for sucker punching Arizona Coyotes defenceman Kevin Connauton. Lucic’s punch to linesman Jay Sharrers should have more attention.

If Dennis Wideman is facing a lengthy suspension for assaulting an official, Milan Lucic should face the same supplemental discipline.


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