Dennis Wideman on linesman hit: I couldn’t avoid it

Watch as Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman runs over a referee after a taking a scary hit against the Nashville Predators. Dennis Wideman's 20-game suspension was upheld by the NHL after an appeal.

Calgary Flames defenceman Dennis Wideman defended his collision with linesman Don Henderson that knocked the official on to the ice in Wednesday night’s game against the Nashville Predators.

There was no penalty on the play.

“I was just trying to get off the ice. And, at the last second, I looked up and saw him,” said Wideman post-game. “I couldn’t avoid it. I didn’t know where to go or how to get out of the way of him.”

Wideman had just been on the receiving end of a big hit from Predators forward Miikka Salomaki. Wideman’s head went into the boards, and he got up slowly, making his way to the Calgary bench before making contact with Henderson, who was able to finish the game despite the collision.

Wideman did apologize to Henderson on the ice.

"Throughout my career I think I've treated every official with the utmost respect & I'd never try to intentionally hit a linesman or ref," he said.