Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman sent linesman Don Henderson to the ice when he checked him from behind during a game against the Nashville Predators.
In the second period Wednesday night, Wideman was skating toward the Flames' bench when he cross-checked Henderson, who had his back to the defenceman. Moments earlier, Wideman had taken a hit from the Predators' Miikka Salomaki.
It wasn't immediately clear if Wideman mistook Henderson for a Predators player or intentionally hit the linesman. There was no penalty called on Wideman on the play.
"I took a pretty hard hit down in the corner and had some pretty good pain in my shoulder and my neck and I was just trying to get off the ice and I was kinda keeled over and at the last second, I looked up and I saw him and I couldn't avoid it," said Wideman.
At the next stoppage, Wideman skated over to where the officials were gathered and apologized. "Throughout my career and I've been around for a few years, I think I've treated every official with the utmost respect and I would never intentionally try to hit a linesman or a ref or anything like that," Wideman added.
Wideman is in his 11th NHL season, and fourth with the Flames. The 32-year-old defenseman entered the game with 94 career goals, 275 assists and 471 penalty minutes. He has two goals, 19 points and 30 penalty minutes this season.