Burke: Concussion protocol was ‘handled to the letter’ with Wideman

Brian Burke spoke to the media about the appeal process for Dennis Wideman, and how the arbitrator’s decision affected the Flames.

The Dennis Wideman saga appears to be over after an independent arbitrator reduced his 20-game ban in half on Friday.

Despite the ruling, questions remained regarding the NHL’s concussion protocol and how the Flames handled Wideman after he left the ice. It was determined after the game — and this was a big part of the appeal process — that Wideman had indeed sustained a concussion before running into linesman Don Henderson.

On Friday, Flames president Brian Burke strongly defended his team.

“A player can exhibit concussion symptoms after a game and our protocol was followed to the letter,” Burke told reporters at a press conference. “Our trainers spoke to him. They felt he was lucid…He stayed in the game and finished the game without any difficulty.

“After the game, he complained of symptoms. He was given a test and registered concussion symptoms but nothing fell through the cracks.”

Wideman took a nasty hit from Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki prior to his collision with Henderson, who also suffered a concussion and has not yet returned to the ice. There is speculation Henderson’s career may be over as a result.

Wideman returned to the Flames lineup on Friday for his first game action since late January.

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