Dennis Wideman got the result he wanted too late.
An independent arbitrator ruled on Friday that the NHL's 20-game suspension for the Calgary Flames defenseman be reduced to 10 games. Wideman has already served 19 of those games; he was scheduled to sit out of Calgary's game in Arizona on Friday.
Arbitrator James Oldham rules there isn't evidence to support idea Wideman intended to injure linesman Henderson. pic.twitter.com/UtrzRdqTKO— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 11, 2016
Reducing the suspension only has one effect at this point: returning some of the lost salary that Wideman forfeited as part of the initial suspension. He'll be reimbursed for $282,258.06 of the money he lost.
Wideman came under fire from the league on Jan. 27 when he inexplicably blindsided referee Don Henderson while coming off the ice at the end of a shift. He was suspended by the NHL for 20 games on Feb. 3, and he, the Flames and the NHL Player's Association unsuccessfully argued his case in an appeal that slammed the NHL's concussion protocol system.
#NHLPA requested in hearing with arb. Oldham on Feb. 26 to allow Wideman to keep playing while appeal was being decided; #NHL declined.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 11, 2016
In the end, the NHL satisfied its referees by ensuring he sat for a long period of time and Wideman ultimately won back more than half of the money he lost. Calgary looks like the party that lost the most in this case, followed closely by Wideman.