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Friday Fan Poll: The Wideman Dilemma

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Following Thursday's incident in the Predators game, what's your take?

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week's Results: In last week's poll to Flames fans, Dougie Hamilton was the surprise choice of which young player to keep, earning 39% of the votes, edging out Johnny Gaudreau's 34% while TJ Brodie came in 3rd place with 20% of votes.

Week 4: The Wideman Dilemma

I had originally intended to write something about the ASG this weekend but after what occurred Thursday night against Nashville, and the following outcry from the rest of the NHL, I thought I'd like to see what Flames fans thought of the incident.

There's already a couple articles up on our news page and you can read them both here and here.

To refresh everyone, the incident happened just over halfway into the 2nd period of the game, with linesman Don Henderson skating backwards as they play progessed towards the Flames end of the ice. At the same time, Wideman who had seconds before been hit hard into the glass in the far end made his way to bench. Wideman also hit the glass hard with mainly his head and was visible shaken on his way to the bench.

With Henderson completely unsuspecting and unprepared for the collision, the two men hit each other straight on with Henderson falling hard to the ice. It was quite a strong collision being that both men are 6"0 and over 200lbs and the linesman bore the brunt of it.

Let it also be known that Wideman immediately apologized to Henderson during the next TV timeout.

Here's a brief clip of the video via SBNation (and @JayGold85) on twitter.

In my own opinion, I see Wideman who had been quite shaken by the hit, with his only priority being getting to the bench. As the play progresses towards him, Wideman's head is up yet he seems to be looking directly into the bench (tunnel vision if you will), with Henderson not yet in his view.

In the next second, I see Henderson backing up to make way for the play to develop coming down his side of the ice as linesmen are supposed to do. Henderson, unknowing that Wideman is just behind him, backs directly into Wideman's path and Wideman can only bring his hands up to protect himself since he's the only one aware of the imminent collision.  To me, this just seems like a bad accident and hopefully both will be alright.

Here's a shortened version of part of Rule 40 in the NHL Rulebook which centres on physical abuse of officials.

Rule 40.1 states that any player who deliberately applies force in any manner against an official, in any manner attempts to injure an official...shall receive a game misconduct penalty. In addition rules 40.2, 40.3, and 40.4 disciplinary penalties shall apply.

40.2 states that any player who deliberately strikes an official and causes injury, or deliberately applies force with an intent to injure shall be suspended for not less than 20 games.

40.3 states that any player who applies deliberately applies force to an official in any manner, (excluding above), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, shall automatically be suspended for not less than 10 games.

The main issue in this entire debate is whether or not Wideman was fully aware of his surroundings and deliberately applied force to Henderson. The NHL will be reviewing this and the official hearing is scheduled for February 2nd.

Anyways, here's the question for this week: "Should Dennis Wideman be suspended, and for how long?"

Please remember to vote and suggest future questions! See you all after the All-Star break.

Go Flames Go!