NHL appeals Wideman suspension reduction to NY federal court

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The National Hockey League might be suffering buyer's remorse after agreeing players can appeal a commissioner's decision to an outside arbitrator.

The league asked a Manhattan federal court judge Wednesday to reject the reduction of Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman's suspension for knocking down a linesman.

An independent arbitrator reduced Wideman's suspension from 20 games to 10 after ruling that Wideman did not intend to injure linesman Don Henderson in Jan. 27 game.

In its papers, the NHL said the limited right to appeal a decision by the commissioner to a neutral discipline arbitrator is a newly created right under the players' association contract. The league said the arbitrator exceeded his authority.

The league said this is the first time it has appealed a decision to the federal court.

Flames officials declined comment because the case is a legal matter.