Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman's appeal to a third-party arbitrator of his 20-game suspension for flattening linesman Don Henderson is expected to be heard Thursday in New York, multiple sources told ESPN.
Although details need to be finalized, arbitrator James C. Oldham is expected to hear the case. The hearing should not last more than one day.
The Wideman case marks the first time a player has opted to lodge an appeal of a suspension with the neutral arbitrator since the option was bargained into the last collective bargaining agreement in early 2013.
Wideman was suspended by the league for 20 games after he crashed into an unsuspecting Henderson seconds after Wideman was given a hard check by Nashville's Miikka Salomaki.
Wideman appealed the ban to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, using the defense that he had been concussed by the Salomaki hit and that the contact with the official was accidental.
Bettman, who has wide latitude in reducing supplemental discipline on appeal, did not buy Wideman's defense and chose to uphold the original suspension, which is one of the longest in NHL history.
Henderson has continued to deal with concussion symptoms and has not worked since the incident, which took place Jan. 27. Wideman has missed nine games since the hit.