$10.2M lawsuit against Calgary Flames, Dennis Wideman filed by injured linesman

An NHL linesman is suing the Calgary Flames and defenceman Dennis Wideman for $10.2 million after suffering a number of injuries he alleges were caused by a hit from the player.

Don Henderson's statement of claim says he was 'violently struck' by Wideman

NHL linesman Don Henderson was hit by Calgary Flame Dennis Wideman during the second period of a game in Calgary on Jan. 27, 2016. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

An NHL linesman is suing the Calgary Flames and defenceman Dennis Wideman for $10.2 million after suffering a number of injuries he alleges were caused by a hit from the player, according to a statement of claim filed at the Calgary Courts Centre.

Wideman was suspended for 10 games after a hit to Don Henderson during a game against the Nashville Predators on January 27, 2016.

Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman hits linesman

7 years ago
Duration 1:22
Linesman Don Henderson would stay in the game.

The NHL official has not been cleared to work since he was injured and "has suffered a limitation of activities and loss of enjoyment of life," the claim says.

The lawsuit claims Wideman "violently struck" Henderson from behind and that the linesman was "completely defenceless."

In the game, Wideman took a hit in the second period from the Predators' Miikka Salomaki. Moments later, Wideman was skating toward the Flames' bench when he cross-checked Henderson, who had his back to the defenceman

"At the time of the incident, Wideman intentionally and deliberately struck Henderson," reads the document.

The senior linesman's injuries are listed as:

  • Head injury and concussion.
  • Injury to the neck requiring surgery.
  • Injuries to Henderson's back and shoulder.
  • Pain and numbness in his right arm and hand.
  • Injury to the right knee.
  • Headaches.
  • Anxiety and depression.

As a result of his injuries, Henderson has needed physiotherapy, medication and psychological counselling.

The injuries cost Henderson $10 million in lost income and future earnings, according to the lawsuit, which also seeks $250,000 in general and special damages.

Wideman was initially suspended for 20 games for the hit, but an independent arbitrator reduced the suspension to 10 games.

At the time of the hit, Henderson had officiated more than 1,200 NHL games "without ever missing a game due to injury."

The allegations have not been proven in court, and statements of defence have not yet been filed.

The Calgary Flames and Henderson's lawyers both declined to comment. Henderson did not respond to calls and an email from CBC News.