Cherry de­fends Wide­man

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Don Cherry says he be­lieves Cal­gary Flames de­fence­man Den­nis Wide­man was “stunned” by a hit mo­ments be­fore knock­ing over an of­fi­cial.

Wide­man got up af­ter be­ing checked dur­ing the se­cond pe­riod of Wed­nes­day’s game against Nashville and struck lines­man Don Hen­der­son on the way to the bench. Wide­man apol­o­gized to Hen­der­son, but was sus­pended in­def­i­nitely by the NHL pend­ing a hear­ing with the league’s depart­ment of hockey op­er­a­tions next week.

Speak­ing in Van­cou­ver af­ter Thurs­day’s BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Cherry came to Wide­man’s de­fence.

“What hap­pened was he was stunned,” said the famed hockey broad­caster. “That was a pretty good hit in the cor­ner. He looked up and he saw some­body com­ing at him. He was just ticked off. I don’t think he thought it was the line­man. He just saw a body com­ing at him.”

Cherry said even though it’s his opin­ion the in­ci­dent was un­in­ten­tional, he added Wide­man will likely have to sit out a while when play re­sumes fol­low­ing the all-star break.

“That’s too bad. He’ll prob­a­bly get some games be­cause you can’t touch an of­fi­cial.”

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