Linesman launches legal action against Flames’ player for on-ice hit
Published Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:04PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 20, 2017 7:42PM MDT
Don Henderson, the NHL linesman who was knocked to the ice by Calgary Flames’ defenceman Dennis Wideman during a game against Nashville last year, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the player and the team.
Wideman cross-checked Henderson while returning to the bench after he was hit by the Predators’ Mikka Salomaki during a game on January 27, 2016.
The entire incident was caught on camera and about a week later Wideman appologized. "First thing I want to apologize to Donnie Henderson. I know I feel awful about what happened and hopefully he's recovering and he's gonna be back on the ice soon but I feel really bad about the whole situation. The last seven days have been tough," he said.
Wideman was suspended from play by the league for 20 games even though he claimed that he was disoriented from the hit and that the contact with Henderson was unintentional.
The NHLPA appealed the decision on Wideman’s behalf and an independent arbitrator ruled to reduce the suspension down to 10 games.
Wideman had already missed 19 games while waiting for a decision on the appeal and returned to the ice before the end of the 2016 season.
This week, Henderson filed a $10.25 million statement of claim against Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corp, the Calgary Flames and Wideman.
In the claim, Henderson alleges Wideman 'violently' struck him from behind without warning, pushing him to the ice and referred to the hit as an 'attack.'
He claims he suffered injuries to his head, neck, shoulder, back, arm, hand and right knee and that he has required psychological counselling in addition to medical treatment.
Henderson says he has been unable to work since the incident and has not received clearance from the league to return to the ice.
According to the claim, the veteran linesman says he will continue to need 'costly therapy and rehabilitation' and that the incident has cost him millions in lost wages and future earning capacity.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed.
The Calgary Flames declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did Henderson’s lawyer. CTV has reached out to Wideman, but has not heard back.