Dennis Wideman Suspension Update: Gary Bettman, Text Message And More

Following a long appeal and review process, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman's 20-game suspension for hitting referee Don Henderson in January.

The biggest controversy is the fact that a text message sent by Wideman to another player (making light of the situation) was reportedly used by Bettman to make his overall decision -- raising questions as to just how he procured the text.

Per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:

While it doesn't reference the text message, the NHLPA did release a statement which expressed disappointment in Bettman's decision and perceived oversights in the process.

Via CBS Sports' Chris Peters:

“We are extremely disappointed but not surprised that Gary Bettman upheld the decision of his staff to suspend Dennis Wideman for 20 games. This decision completely ignores the effects of the concussion that Dennis sustained when he was driven into the boards eight seconds before colliding with the linesman. We will appeal to the Neutral Discipline Arbitrator in order to have this decision overturned.”

The legitimacy of information obtained via private text messages could add major sway to the NHLPA's case.

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Related Topics: Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames news, Gary Bettman