Earlier this week, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld Dennis Wideman‘s 20-game suspension and the NHLPA immediately announced its intention to appeal the ruling to an independent arbitrator.
Wideman’s appeal before that arbitrator is expected to take place on either Wednesday or Thursday next week, according to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox.
When the Calgary Flames meet the Anaheim Ducks Sunday it will be the 10th game Wideman has missed since being suspended for knocking down linesman Don Henderson in a Jan. 27 game against the Nashville Predators. Cox reports that if the arbitrator – James Oldham, a law professor from Georgetown University – were to reduce the number of games to fewer than 10 then Wideman could be reimbursed in the form of salary since there’s no way to get the games he’s missed back.
Wideman is currently losing $28,226 per game.
Following Bettman’s ruling, Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke criticized the league for how long the process has taken.
“To take a week to rubber-stamp a decision that was made by the hockey operations department of the National Hockey League as games tick off for my player, that affect my team’s ability to win, that affect playoff races, that affect competitive balance, is incomprehensible to me,” Burke told Tim and Sid.