PuckDaddy- Don Henderson, the NHL linesman injured in an infamous on-ice incident last season, is suing Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman and the team for $10.25 million, according to TSN and CTV.
Wideman assaulted Henderson in a January 27, 2016, Flames game against the Nashville Predators. Wideman cross-checked Henderson, seemingly out of nowhere, concussing the linesman. He was suspended by the NHL for 20 games, before it was reduced to 10 games on appeal.
According to Chris Epp of CTV, Henderson is claiming that Wideman cost him $10 million in lost revenue, future revenue and future earning capacity. He calls the incident an “attack” and that Wideman was “aware that (he) remained unsuspecting and was completely defenseless.”
He hasn’t officiated a game since the incident. There was a report in July 2016 that Henderson underwent neck surgery. In January 2017, former NHL referee Paul Stewart wrote about Henderson, saying: “My advice to him would be to go for the throat, the wallet and the vault. His career is done.”
Here's what we are not going to do. We are not going to sit here like jealous assholes and say "man, I would totally get crosschecked from behind by an professional hockey player for 10 million dollars" route. Obviously everyone would agree to that tradeoff, but not everyone would subject themselves to a career as thankless as being an NHL official if they didn't know ahead of time that it would result in an 8-figure pay off from a dimwitted defenseman. I don't even care if you think this lawsuit is a bit heavy-handed, because you aren't even capable of doing the job that Don Henderson was maliciously attacked from behind while doing. Seriously, heed my advice. I hate referees as much as the next guy, but taking the player's side or making it seem like the victim who needed neck surgery is out of line for trying to get his money's worth is sure to make you look like a complete jackass.
And look, I'm not calling the medical reports fabricated, but I too did my best interpretation of the chin scratching, "hmm" emoji when I read that the one hit in question was responsible for a list of physical and mental injuries/disabilities that reads like someone who survived a plane crash while returning home from being a prisoner of war...
Still - regardless of whether or not Don Henderson's suffering is slightly exaggerated - I completely support his efforts to grab Dennis Wideman and the Calgary Flames by the ankles and shake the shit out of them until he walks away with every last penny in their pockets. Hell, even if rubbing one out with his right arm didn't constantly feel like a stranger was giving him a handy I would still encourage him to force this up to the highest of courts. If all he had was a nosebleed, a scraped knee, and a bruised ego I'd still be happy to see him laugh all the way to the bank.
Do you know how much it must suck to discipline overly emotional players that always disagree with you and never shut the fuck up? Having every decision you make at your job dissected and criticized from all angles sounds just about as stressful as constantly worrying about someone running you into boards from behind because the whistle they were waiting for never came. I don't doubt that Don Henderson is physically incapable of working, but - if I were him - it wouldn't even matter if I were spry as a spring chicken, because I would still look for the quickest and most profitable way out of being a professional scapegoat. I hope he eventually has a complete recovery and shows up front row in Calgary just to throw crumpled up Benjy's at Dennis Wideman during warmups, because - as much as I have probably cursed his existence over the years - he's earned the opportunity to return the favor and treat others like lesser human beings.