The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended Montreal Canadiens defenseman Chris Wideman one game for head-butting Boston Bruins forward Erik Haula in the Habs’ 5-1 loss to the Bruins on Wednesday.
Here’s the official press release from the league:
‘Montreal Canadiens defenseman Chris Wideman has been suspended for one game, without pay, for head-butting Boston Bruins forward Erik Haula during NHL Game No. 1000 in Boston on Wednesday, Jan. 12, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 6:57 of the third period. Wideman was assessed a minor penalty for roughing as well as a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Wideman will forfeit $3,750.00. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
You can also view a video description from the NDPS here.
Here’s the video of the scrum that led to Wideman head-butting Haula and the closeup of the head butt:
TNT NHL analyst Keith Jones blasted the Montreal Canadiens for his actions during the TNT broadcast.
“A dirty play; a cheap play. We’ll see if that’s suspendable. I don’t mind Haula getting in a shot there,” Jones said reacting to play-by-play.
While Jones is right in his description of the play and the Department of Player Safety absolutely should’ve handed down supplemental discipline to Wideman, what about Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand’s late hit on Montreal Canadiens centre Nick Suzuki 5:38 into the third period?
The Montreal Canadiens young star clearly didn’t have the puck and was in a vulnerable position. While Marchand at least didn’t target the head and went shoulder-to-shoulder/chest, it was clearly a blind-sided hit.
Brad Marchand goes for the big hit on Nick Suzuki and all hell breaks loose: pic.twitter.com/A0e6rQWyov
— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) January 13, 2022
Yes, he got a two-minute minor for interference but the fact Marchand got away with no supplemental discipline and also lit the Montreal Canadiens up with a natural hat trick had to make that 5-1 loss sting even more.