Dennis Wideman appeal hearing ends; decision could take few days

NEW YORK -- The appellate hearing for suspended Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman lasted six and a half hours on Wednesday at the NHL league office.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has not rendered a decision, and it could take a few days before one is announced, according to a league source.

The league originally suspended Wideman 20 games for his hit on linesman Don Henderson in a game against the Nashville Predators on Jan. 27. If Wideman's suspension stands, he will forfeit $564,516.20, with that money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Also present at the hearing from the league were deputy commissioner Bill Daly and senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell.

Flames GM Brad Treliving and representatives from the NHLPA, including executive director Don Fehr, associate counsel Roman Stoykewych, general counsel Don Zavelo and special assistant Mathieu Schneider were in attendance.

When asked how the hearing went, Schneider said: "We'll see."

During the hearing, the NHLPA maintained that Wideman, 32, was concussed on the play and did not understand what he was doing when he hit Henderson.

Representing the on-ice officials at the hearing included director of officiating Stephen Walkom and Henderson. Also, there were concussions specialists for both sides.

If Bettman reduces Wideman's 20-game suspension but it is still six or more games, Wideman can then appeal to a neutral arbitrator. An NHL case has never gone to a neutral arbitrator. In this case, if it did, it would be heard by James Oldham.