In the latest development in a story that just will not stop unfolding – no matter how much we wish it would stop – linesman Don Henderson has filed a lawsuit against Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman. The story is courtesy of CTV’s Chris Epp (who broke the story) and crack TSN reporter Rick Westhead.
Since everything is still unfolding right now, let’s just lay out what we know right now.
Who’s suing who?
Henderson (and the Province of Alberta) are reportedly suing Dennis Wideman, the Calgary Flames (his employer) and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (the owners of the Flames).
Way, way back on January 27, 2016 – in the last game before the 2016 All-Star Break – Wideman cross-checked Henderson in the middle of the game. He was subsequently suspended, which led to a bunch of appeals, re-appeals, an independent arbitrator and a lawsuit to vacate the decision of said arbitrator. We all became intimately familiar with parts of the CBA that we never, ever wanted (or needed) to read.
Henderson? He hasn’t worked a game since.
— CTV – Chris Epp (@CTVchrisepp) April 20, 2017
What do they want?
Henderson seeks general damages of $200,000, special damages to pay for housekeeping, yard work and hospital expenses of $50,000, and damages for loss of income and future loss of income of $10 million.
AB govt wants Wideman and Flames to cover cost of Henderson’s dental surgery, optometric, mental health, chiropractic, podiatrist services.
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) April 20, 2017
What happens next?
What’s been filed by Henderson’s lawyers is known as a “statement of claim,” effectively telling the defendants that they’re being sued. The defendants have 30 days to file a “statement of defense,” which is effectively a rebuttal to Henderson’s initial filing. After that, things go back and forth. It could be months before this sees the inside of a courtroom, even for something preliminary.
Expect a ton of questions about this at Garbage Bag Day at the Scotiabank Saddledome tomorrow, and expect the Flames to say very little – as you’d expect them to given there’s an ongoing legal proceeding happening.