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.

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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.

"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.

With files from The Associated Press