Dennis Wideman hopes future appeals move ‘a little bit quicker’

Dennis Wideman spoke briefly to the media about his feelings following the decision by the independent arbitrator, thanked his supporters and added that he is glad to put the event behind him.

Dennis Wideman, coming off his suspension Friday, spoke to reporters after the Calgary Flames lost 4-1 to the Arizona Coyotes.

An independent arbitrator ruled earlier in the day that Wideman’s suspension for hitting linesman Don Henderson be reduced to 10 games from 20. The defenceman had missed 19 games awaiting the decision and will be compensated financially for those extra nine games served.

“First and foremost, I want to wish Donny Henderson a full recovery,” Wideman told reporters. “I’m happy that [the suspension] was reduced to 10 games. But I still maintain that it was completely accidental and I had no intent on hitting Donny at all.

“I just hope that going forward, [the appeal process] can move along a little bit quicker.”

Wideman also thanked Flames fans, staff, his teammates and coaching staff, and the NHLPA for their support during the process.

Flames president Brian Burke commented on the ruling earlier Friday.

The Flames sit 13 points out of a playoff spot with 14 games to play after Friday night’s action.