Final Wideman Verdict Not Until March 7

If you’re hoping to get some clarity on the status of Calgary Flames blueliner Dennis Wideman, you’re going to be waiting for awhile. Yes, even longer than you already have.

Multiple reports from multiple sources came out yesterday, with the common thread being that Wideman’s fate likely won’t be known until the week of March 7.


Here’s how it’s gone.

  • January 27: Flames play Nashville (Wideman/Henderson collision in second period).
  • January 28: NHL announces indefinite suspension for Wideman, pending a hearing.
  • February 2: Hearing with Colin Campbell in Toronto.
  • February 3: NHL announces 20-game suspension for Wideman. NHLPA announces appeal to Gary Bettman. Flames play Carolina (Game 1 of suspension).
  • February 5: Flames play Columbus (Game 2 of suspension).
  • February 6: Flames play Vancouver (Game 3 of suspension).
  • February 9: Flames play Toronto (Game 4 of suspension).
  • February 10: Hearing with Gary Bettman in New York.
  • February 11: Flames play San Jose (Game 5 of suspension).
  • February 12: Flames play Arizona (Game 6 of suspension).
  • February 15: Flames play Anaheim (Game 7 of suspension).
  • February 17: NHL releases Gary Bettman’s decision, 20-game suspension upheld. NHLPA announces appeal to independent arbitrator. Flames play Minnesota (Game 8 of suspension).
  • February 19: Flames play Vancouver (Game 9 of suspension).
  • February 21: Flames play Anaheim (Game 10 of suspension).
  • February 23: Flames play Los Angeles (Game 11 of suspension).
  • February 25: Hearing with independent arbitrator (day 1) in New York. Flames play NY Islanders (Game 12 of suspension).
  • February 26: Hearing with independent arbitrator (day 2) in New York.
  • February 27: Flames play Ottawa (Game 13 of suspension).
  • February 29: Flames play Philadelphia (Game 14 of suspension).
  • March 1: Flames play Boston (Game 15 of suspension).
  • March 3: Flames play Buffalo (Game 16 of suspension).
  • March 5: Flames play Pittsburgh (Game 17 of suspension).
  • March 7: Projected date for independent arbitrator’s ruling. Flames play San Jose (Game 18 of suspension).
  • March 9: Flames play Nashville (Game 19 of suspension).
  • March 11: Flames play Arizona (Game 20 of suspension).

However you feel about Wideman or about the incident itself, the fact that his suspension will be four days away from being completely served by the time the appeals process is completed is an absolute joke. (And bear in mind, “week of March 7” means “week beginning March 7,” so his suspension might actually be over by the time the final verdict is announced.


Greg Wyshynski’s discussion of the impending Wideman verdict included an interesting section about the Flames potentially being investigated by the league for how they followed (or didn’t) the league’s concussion protocol.

said the League is looking into that breakdown, in light of the fact
that Wideman’s defense was based on his having been concussed.

“We’ve had some discussions with the Flames. If we have something to announce, we’ll announce after Wideman [ruling],” he said.

    • Backburner

      To think Bettman will be commissioner for another 6 years!!

      Not that there would be any interest.. but does anyone know if it would still be possible to trade Wideman? Isn’t there some strange rule about a player having to play immediately after they’ve been traded?

      I feel like the Karma will be in Calgary’s favor to win the draft lottery now.

    • Daves Waves

      So….. let’s say the final verdict is 15 games, and it gets announced on March 8th.

      What happens to the 3 extra games (#16,#17,#18) that Wideman sat out? Does the league have to compensate him, in addition to his forfeited pay, for making him sit out, essentially, for no reason?

      • MattyFranchise

        I’d imagine all that happens would be him getting his money back for those games.

        Either way this is complete bull!@#$ how this whole thing has been handled. Taking way too long.

        • RexLibris

          I think this was mentioned earlier that if the arbitrator came down with a decision of, say, 10 games, Wideman would be reimbursed for the time lost.

          There was no mention of any form of compensation for the Flames, but I doubt there would be any forthcoming for any team in a similar situation as it would essentially be the proverbial “cost of doing business”.

    • Just a Fan

      Ok. Let me put a couple of things on the record:

      1. Wideman got what the rules say he should get. Anything else is wishful thinking.

      2. In my opinion there is no chance the suspension was ever going to be reduced.

      3. Wideman, the flames and the nhlpa all combined to ensure that the wide an defence of I didn’t know what I was doing is not credible.

      And the point I really wanted to make. Yes the appeal process has taken way to long but it was the original time to render the suspension and the first appeal that ate all the time. If the infraction does not happen right before the all star break the entire process gets done way faster.

      • RedMan

        1. “Wideman got what the rules say he should get. Anything else is wishful thinking.”

        He got what he should get (20 games) if he intentionally hurt the official. Which of couse is bull****.

        Where was Webers 20 for doing the same thing?

        Wheres the suspension for the guy who punched the ref

        Wheres the suspension for Kassian shoving the ref intentionally as the ref was trying to restrain him and remove him from the fray

        This stinks… period, whether one believes him guilty of a major or a minor rule 40 infraction. But then, the leagues justice has always stunk.

        • fretsey

          It was Lucic that punched the ref btw,

          This whole things stinks,like you said.

          This was Gary’s wet dream,an optically perfect platform to “send a message” to the zebra Union,saying “we got your backs”. Also an opportunity to do some damage control in response to the Concussion Lawsuit filed against them.Ignoring whatever attempt by the NHLPA to use a “concussion” as a means of defense which would create a precedent.

          This wasn’t about the hit itself. It was about how awful it looked and an opportunity to satisfy or placate some internal politics within the NHL office.

          I’m with Burkie all the way…there should not have been any suspension at all.

    • T&A4Flames

      Do the idiots in the NHL not have some due process and some semblance of “right to a speedy trial.” They are dragging their asses on this big time. Its a bigger joke than the hit itself. Wideman may as well come out and say screw it, what’s the point. That or sue the NHL for not giving an answer much sooner. He and the organization has a right to know. Its been over a month!

    • RexLibris

      To my mind the arbitrator has an easy out here.

      The NHL rulebook lays it out pretty specifically, the league and commissioner have already been essentially unanimous in their decisions.

      Once it went to an arbitrator I was doubtful it was going to go below 15 games anyway, but based on how the time line is today I’d wager we’ll hear 20 games and Wideman will sit out a few more before it ends and the Flames will look at their options with regards to the player in the off-season.

    • beloch

      Greg Wyshynski’s discussion of the impending Wideman verdict included an interesting section about the Flames potentially being investigated by the league for how they followed (or didn’t) the league’s concussion protocol.

      Wow. In addition to dragging the appeal process out to the point where it’s utterly pointless (and did damage to Wideman’s reputation thanks to Bettman’s release of that text), this could result in the league taking action against the Flames too? Nevermind the fact that they let a concussed ref continue in the same game. This appeal gives the league a way to get out of their concussion lawsuit woes: Blame the teams! Punishing the Flames is how they get their foot in that particular door.

      So, what have we learned? Never appeal league decisions unless you like being made an example of. It stinks, but that’s the message I’m getting from the league here.

    • Ramskull

      This is a no-win situation for the Flames. If it’s ruled that Wideman did have a concussion the league is going to come down on the Flames like a hammer for not following protocol. The Flames have to look to move Wideman in the offseason and distance themselves from this mess.

    • MontanaMan

      Some of this is CBA and NHLPA bureaucracy. It’s almost a defence lawyer’s dream with all of the appeals and everything that goes into them. The real issue is what would happen if the PA, the player or the team felt that a 5 or 10 game suspension was unjustified? Based on what Wideman has gone through, there wouldn’t be enough time to even get an appeal heard. They need to limit the appeal process and commit to a resolution within a week of the suspension.

    • Primo

      I would like to see the Flames retain the ‘A’ on Brodie’s jersey. IMO Wideman does not deserve to represent the Flames organization let alone as a leader!

    • RKD

      The whole process was handled very poorly, too much time elapses between a hearing and a decision. In this case 7 days of waiting is too long. In other leagues players are still allowed to play while an investigation is ongoing. The Nhl needs to figure out a better way.