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NHL upholds 20-game suspension for Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman

Wideman's appeal was denied.

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Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Following an appeal, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman decided on Wednesday to uphold the league's 20 game suspension for Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman.

Wideman was appealing the punishment for his blindside hit on referee Don Henderson on Jan. 27 during a game against the Nashville Predators. Wideman's hit left Henderson in the hospital overnight for evaluation, and Wideman was suspended indefinitely until the league officially handed down the 20-game suspension. The league suspended him under violation of Rule 40 for Physical Abuse of Officials.

The appeal report sent out with the league's statement reveals just what Wideman was arguing in his appeal: that he was concussed after taking a hit just before the incident, and that his actions were therefore not deliberate.

Wideman can now take his case to an independent arbitrator if he wishes. Wideman has served eight games of his suspension. Here is the full ruling from Bettman:

NHL Wideman Order