In upholding Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman’s 20-game suspension for violently checking veteran linesman Don Henderson to the ice last month, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman went for the jugular in his 23-page report after getting hold of Wideman’s text messages.
“Although he made much at the [appeals] hearing about the apologies he had already made to Mr. Henderson, the sincerity of those apologies rings somewhat hollow given the text message he sent to a teammate on Feb. 2 — after the conclusion of the hearing before Mr. Campbell — that ‘the only problem and the only reason I’m here is cause the stupid refs and stupid media.’ ”
Wideman and the NHL Players’ Association are appealing to an arbitrator.
Smart move by Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman to publicly announce that superstar Steven Stamkos won’t be traded before the Feb. 29 trade deadline. Rumors were bound to run rampant the next few weeks as the two sides continue to be embroiled in a contract negotiation.
With the Lightning hoping to contend for a Stanley Cup, Yzerman is willing to risk losing Stamkos for nothing if the two sides can’t reach an agreement before free agency July 1.
There was a report in Canada that the Canadiens are gauging the market for defenseman P.K. Subban.
That would be shocking. Just go through the NHL and find one No. 1 NHL defenseman that has been traded. Teams rarely trade these hot commodities, especially a talent like the charismatic former Norris Trophy winner.