Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL, pending a Feb. 2 hearing, after hitting an official from behind during a game.
In the second period of Wednesday night's game against the Nashville Predators, Wideman was skating toward the Flames' bench when he cross-checked linesman Don Henderson, who had his back to the defenceman.
Moments earlier, Wideman had taken a hit from the Predators' Miikka Salomaki.
It wasn't clear if Wideman intentionally hit the linesman, and he did not receive a penalty.
At the next stoppage, Wideman skated over to where the officials were gathered and apologized.
"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 kind of keeled over and at the last second, I looked up and I saw him and I couldn't avoid it," said Wideman.
A 10-game suspension for Wideman would cost him $640,000. A 20-gamer would be $1.28 million. That's steep.— @EricFrancis
"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, 32, is in his 11th NHL season and fourth with the Flames. He has two goals, 19 points and 30 penalty minutes this season.