So here’s the thing. I hate refs. I have a major bias against all refs here. Doesn’t matter if your a ref, a linesman, a whatever. Because chances are if you’re wearing the stripes out there, you’re making bad calls that fuck over my team. So I’m not just saying this for shock factor, but I genuinely side with Dennis Wideman here. For a few reasons. 1) He took a brutal hit into the boards there. I’m not saying that it should be a penalty, but any time you get shaken up you automatically think there should be a call. So I can understand the frustration. 2) The onus is on the linesman here to keep his head on a swivel out there. This isn’t pee wees, this isn’t some mid-level tier 3 junior league. This is the National Hockey League and when you’re just hanging out there in front of the benches without a care in the world, you at least have to be aware of your surroundings. Head on a swivel. And 3) he’s a linesman. He doesn’t even really do anything out there. What? You call icing and offside? Big deal. Anybody can handle that. So if anything, Dennis Wideman is just making this particular linesman earn his pay out there. Also, concussion.
But yeah… I guess you can’t do that and I’m sure Dennis Wideman’s All Star Break is going to be much longer than the rest of the league’s.
UPDATE: Looks like the linesman is totally fine and from an alternate angle, you can see how this is more of an accident than anything. You have to keep in mind that Wideman just had his head slammed into the boards less than 10 seconds prior so obviously you’re going to be seeing double for a few moments. Between the current state that Wideman was in physically and how fast the game moves in general, this just doesn’t look malicious to me. If anything, he probably thought it was an opposing player.
UPDATE #2 – Here are some quotes from Wideman after the game and after he made an apology to linesman Don Henderson.
Now obviously I see the comment section and here’s what I’ll say. Did the take maybe get away from me a little bit? Sure. But I still think a lot of people are making this out to be way bigger of a deal than it actually is. Wideman isn’t a dirty player, it all looked very reactionary to me and not malicious, and everybody was fine in the end. The linesman got up right away, Wideman wasn’t even assessed a penalty at all, he apologized and if he gets a suspension, then he gets a suspension. But again, this was all way less than what it actually looked like.