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Capitals acquire Dennis Wideman from Florida for third round pick, prospect

Dennis Wideman

Florida Panthers’ Dennis Wideman celebrates after scoring against the New Jersey Devils in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)


The Capitals headed into deadline day with a pair of needs. They were looking for defensive help on the blue line and for possibly a second line center. You can check off the defensive issue now for Washington as they’ve acquired defenseman Dennis Wideman from Florida for prospect Jake Hauswirth and a 2011 third round pick.

Wideman’s more of an offensive defenseman and with nine goals and 24 assists this year, his point totals are nice and should be a boost to the Caps offense that needs something, anything to get them going. The one catch with Wideman is his defensive prowess. While teamed up with Zdeno Chara in Boston two years ago, he put up a robust +32 plus/minus rating. This year with a mostly miserable Panthers team he’s a -26. Last year in Boston he was a -14.

Wideman’s point production is solid and two years ago he put up 50 points from the blue line. Bringing him to a team with legitimate offensive weapons should help boost his numbers and if he can help unlock the Caps offense from the stagnant quagmire they’ve been in all year, that’s all the better for Washington.

With the blue line taken care of now, the Caps will set their eyes on improving their forward corps at center before 3 p.m. ET.