Linesman Don Henderson has filed a $10.25M lawsuit against Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman, according to reports from CTV’s Chris Epp and TSN’s Rick Westhead.

Henderson was injured when Wideman cr0ss-checked him from behind during a game on January 28, 2016. He finished the game but has not worked a game since.



Wideman was suspended 20 games for the hit. His suspension was upheld by Commission Gary Bettman but later reduced to 10 by an independent arbitrator.

According to CTV’s Chris Epp, Henderson’s filing claims that Wideman “violently struck [him] from behind, propelling him down to the ice.”

Henderson also says Wideman was “aware that [he] remained unsuspecting and was completely defenseless” and that he “disregarded NHL rules”

As a result of the hit, Henderson has required medication, treatment, and psychological counseling.  His injuries have also cost him future income and potential earnings.

From the filing:

“The Plaintiff has been and continues to be unable and restricted in the ability to work as he has yet to get cleared to officiate National Hockey League games, thereby resulting in a loss of income in an amount to be determined at the trial of this action.”

NHL linesmen earn from $115,000 to nearly $250,000 or more per season.


From linesman Don Henderson's lawsuit against Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman,

An excerpt of the injuries documented in linesman Don Henderson’s lawsuit against Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman, via @CTVchrisepp


In court documents, Henderson also alleges he has “suffered a limitation of activities and loss of enjoyment of life.”

The Province of Alberta is listed as a plaintiff. According to Epp, it’s standard to have the government act as co-plaintiff to recover medical costs, potentially reimbursing taxpayers for the treatment provided.

The filing indicates that the Alberta government is looking for Wideman the and Flames to cover cost of Henderson’s “in-patient and out-patient services provided in a hospital, dental surgery services, optometric services, chiropractic services, services provided by a podiatrist, mental health services, drug services, or any goods or services provided by a health service,” according to TSN’s Rick Westhead.

The Flames declined to comment.  The team has 30 days to files a statement of defense.

Further proceedings are not expected to take place for three months to a year.



Wideman, 34, is in the final year of a five-year, $26.25M contract with the Flames.  He’s earned $43.5M over the course of his NHL career according to CapFriendly.

Henderson, 49, made his NHL debut during the 1994-95 season. The veteran linesman worked 1,293 regular season games during his 22-year career.