Reports conflict over recipient of infamous Wideman text message
Gerry Thomas / National Hockey League / Getty

The Dennis Wideman suspension saga took an unusual twist Friday after the Calgary Flames defenseman's suspension for making contact with linesman Don Henderson was reduced to 10 games from 20.

After Wideman's initial appeal of the suspension was upheld by the NHL, the league revealed Wideman had texted an unnamed person after he met with executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell on Feb. 2. The text message read: "(The) only problem and the only reason I'm here is (because of) the stupid refs and stupid media."

According to the neutral arbitrator's ruling Friday, Wideman sent that message to Columbus Blue Jackets forward Gregory Campbell - the son of Colin, who made the initial 20-game suspension ruling.

Commissioner Gary Bettman cited the message as proof that Wideman did not accept responsibility for his actions when Bettman upheld the suspension in February.

Late Friday afternoon, the NHL denied that the message in question was sent to Gregory Campbell, saying it was sent to Flames captain Mark Giordano.

Reporters were originally told Wideman sent the text message in question to a teammate, but he and Campbell have never played together in the NHL. They were, however, traded for each other in June 2010, when the Florida Panthers traded Campbell and Nathan Horton to the Boston Bruins for Wideman and a first-round draft pick.

As TSN's Frank Seravalli notes, the text message being sent to Gregory Campbell - who was referred to as a "teammate" of Wideman - raises a number of questions.

Reports conflict over recipient of infamous Wideman text message
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