Report | Linesman Don Henderson filing lawsuit against Dennis Wideman

19 January 2013: The embroidered NHL logo sits on the back of the goal during a game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ****For Editorial Use Only****
Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire

The NHL became embroiled in a player-official controversy during the 2015-16 season, when Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman cross-checked linesman Don Henderson into the boards and sent him crashing headfirst.

He then seemingly skated to the bench with no problems.

The league awarded Wideman a 20-game suspension for what appeared to be an intent to injure hit on the official, who was unable to continue working after suffering a concussion.

While the suspension was initially reduced to 10 games on appeal, the league overturned that decision and kept the suspension at 20 games.

Now, Wideman could be facing even bigger financial loss.

Rick Westhead of TSN reported on Thursday afternoon that TSN and CTV had learned that Henderson plans to file a lawsuit against Wideman worth $10.25 million for partial and permanent disabilities in addition to loss of work.

Per CTV:

It was reported this past summer that Henderson had to undergo neck surgery to repair two ruptured discs, which undoubtedly required a lengthy recovery time and loss of work for the linesman. His further maladies suffered are listed above, which include headaches (a symptom oftentimes of post-concussion syndrome), back, neck, shoulder, and arm injury, depression, a knee injury, and what sounds like potential nerve damage.

The situation caused significant discourse around the league at the time. The question of whether Wideman was concussed at the time of the hit led to questions of whether a player with a head injury was allowed to continue skating in the game, while questions of intent in the hit were brought up in terms of safety for officials.

The legal battle in this situation is likely going to be lengthy – so needless to say, this won’t be the last fans will hear of the lawsuit.

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