Since the end of the Capitals playoff run, CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley has evaluated the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. Today marks the final evaluation: Dennis Wideman, who on Wednesday was traded to the Calgary Flames.
HtWt: 6-0, 200
Penalty Minutes: 46
Average Ice Time: 23:54
Contract Status: Rights traded to Calgary Flames; signed 5-year, 26.25 million contract 5.25 million cap hit in 2012-13
Strengths: Wideman was durable and led the Caps in ice time by a wide margin John Carlson was next at 21:51. Used in every situation. Has a hard, accurate shot from the blue line. Well-liked in the dressing room. Can play tough when needed.
Weaknesses: Lacks the strength and toughness to keep opposing power forwards from the front of the net. Prone to open-ice mistakes that led to breakaway s and contributed to his minus-8 rating. Struggled against the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.
Memorable Moment on the ice: On Dec. 9 in a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center, Wideman was credited with his first career hat trick. As hats of all sizes littered the ice Wideman sheepishly tipped his helmet to the crowd and smiled as he was greeted by teammates on the bench. All along, he knew his shot was deflected by teammate Brooks Laich. To his credit, Wideman went to an official and had his goal credited to Laich. It was probably going to go a little bit wide, and then it hit Brooksie's leg and just went directly sideways in the net, Wideman said. I knew right away. I think you would've gotten a little bigger celebration out of me if it was actually my third goal. Asked why, after 480 games without a hat trick, he was so honest, Wideman replied, Good karma.
Memorable Moment off the ice: Wideman was puttering around his house on Jan. 12 when he received a phone call from Caps GM George McPhee. He assumed the worst news, but was given the best that hed been selected to play in his first career NHL All-Star Game. I didnt know what was going on, Wideman said. In my experience, when a GM calls you, its usually not good news. I wasnt expected to be voted in or picked for the All-Star Game. I was pretty excited, a little caught off-guard and a little shocked.
2012-13 Expectations: Fans in Calgary will expect big things from Wideman after signing the most lucrative contract of his career and thats not necessarily a good thing for a defenseman who struggled offensively and defensively after making his first career appearance in the All-Star Game. Wideman is a solid No. 3 or No. 4 defenseman, but with the salary hes making hes likely to be given No. 1 or No. 2 ice time and responsibility.