Montreal Canadiens defenceman Chris Wideman has been suspended one game for headbutting Boston Bruins forward Erik Haula, the department of player safety announced. This is Wideman’s first suspension in 204 NHL games.
The incident took place in the third period of Wednesday’s game. During an after-the-whistle scrum, the two became entangled, with Haula holding onto Wideman against the boards. Wideman then thrusted his head toward Haula, hitting him in the side of the face. Haula pulled Wideman down to the ice and delivered several punches before they were separated by officials.
Wideman was assessed a double-minor for roughing, while Haula received a minor penalty for roughing.
When skating to the penalty box after the incident, Haula’s nose was visibly bloodied from a cut, though it is not clear if the headbutt caused the laceration or another moment in the scrum.
“The puck is frozen along the corner boards as players from both teams battle for possession,” said the NHL department of player safety in a video. “As play is whistled dead, Haula engages Wideman by wrapping him up from behind in the scrum for which he is penalized. After he does so, Wideman cocks his head and drives his helmet directly and intentionally into the head of Haula. This is head-budding.
“It is important to note that Wideman’s helmet makes clear, intentional and direct contact with Haula’s face and head. This is not an occasion where two players accidentally or inadvertently collide in a scrum. Rather, this is an unacceptable and intentional headbutt delivered to an opponent’s face.”