Arbitrator reduces Wideman suspension from 20 games to 10

An independent arbitrator has reduced Dennis Wideman's suspension from 20 games to 10 based on the determination that the Calgary Flames defenseman did not intend to injure linesman Don Henderson.

In an 18-page ruling Friday, James Oldham wrote that he agreed with the NHL's decision to suspend Wideman for abusing an official. He disagreed that there was sufficient evidence to show he deliberately wanted to injure Henderson when he hit him during a game Jan. 27.

Wideman has already served 19 games as the appeals process went to Commissioner Gary Bettman and then Oldham. He will get back $282,258 of the $564,516 he was going to forfeit as a result of the suspension.

The NHL said in a statement it "strenuously" disagrees with Oldham's ruling.