34-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Dennis Wideman Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract with the Flames in June 2012.
Wideman chipped in five goals and 13 assists in 57 games this season.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After exploding for a career-best 56 points two seasons ago, Wideman burned his fantasy investors badly last year, notching just 19 points in a campaign shortened by suspension and injury to 51 games. The suspension was one of the oddest stories of the 2015-16 campaign, as Wideman viciously crosschecked linesman Don Henderson from behind mere moments after getting his own head knocked into the boards, potentially ending Hendersonís career while setting off a controversy over whether the bluelinerís action was concussion-induced. Nonetheless, the 33-year-old enters a new season having served his time and recovered from his injuries, and he seems to have a good line on top-four action for the Flames. However, to retain that gig, heíll need to demonstrate that last seasonís stark drop-off is firmly in the past.
How do you spell career year? Well, for Wideman, it was spelled "sans Giordano." Wideman stepped up huge after Mark Giordano got hurt and delivered 19 points in a 20-game span. Now, thatís not to say he wouldnít have had a great season without that opportunity -- he would have come close to 50 points anyway after getting off to a hot start. But 56 points? Booyah! This season is almost certain to be very, VERY different for this eighth-round pick. Dougie Hamilton has arrived in Cowtown and Giordano is healthy and ready to chew up minutes again. Widemanís role and production are going to slip, so draft him with nothing more than around 40 points in mind.
Wideman hasn't played all that poorly in Calgary the past two seasons, but he has fallen short of expectations with 43 points (three short of his 2011-12 season in Washington) in 92 contests. He has had to carry a little bit more of the defensive load, which has worn on his statistics. He may be in store for a bounce-back season, however, as he has found a solid linemate in Kris Russell and the expectations are more on the top line of Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie. Wideman may not be the top-tier fantasy defenseman he once was, but he should get back to the 30-40 point range this season.
Wideman was brought in to big fan fare in 2012-13, signing a large contract in the hopes of turning around Calgary's defensive issues. Needless to say that didn't happen, although it wasnít all Wideman's fault. He still had a decent season with 22 points and 100 blocked shots in 46 games, but for a fickle Calgary fan-base, he wasn't the kick start they were hoping for. He will anchor the blue line once again in 2013-14 and should produce his usual 35 to 45 points along with a lot of time on the power play.
The Flames did not receive much scoring from their blue line corps in 2011-12, and their trade for Wideman should certainly help in 2012-13. Wideman scored 11 goals and 35 assists in 82 games with the Capitals last season and has registered at least 40 points in three of the last four seasons. He proved to be a valuable fantasy commodity last season, and should continue that trend this season, as he will likely captain the Calgary power play and will get his chances to put up points.
Wideman was a huge part of the Caps' success going into the playoffs last season, but when he went down with a leg injury in the playoffs the team missed him. Between Florida and D.C., the 28-year-old defenseman put up 40 points last season. He moves the puck well and will be a huge part to the back end in Washington.
Wideman was shipped to Florida via a trade from Boston early in the offseason. Last posteason, with the Bruins, D-Wide caught fire by posting 12 points (1 G, 11 A) in 13 games. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his new stomping grounds, but we expect big things from Wideman, even though the Panthers won't bring the same level of talent that he saw from his former team in Boston. Still, he should get heavy ice time and enough power-play opportunities to maintain his status as a fantasy friendly blueliner.
Wideman, who ended up a with a healthy plus-32 rating on the season, ended up with 50 points, which tied him with Zdeno Chara for tops among the B's blueliners in points and 12th overall in the league among rearguards. By now, Bruinsí fans are over the fact the team traded Brad Boyes to get Wideman, as he has emerged as a steady, ice-time eating blueliner, who is skilled at moving the puck, both at even strength and on the power play.
It can be argued that the B's overpaid the Blues when they obtained him (for Brad Boyes) in February of 2007, but Wideman has started to hold up his end of the bargain, providing the B's with a much-needed puck-moving defender. He sees a ton of ice time (25:09 per game/13th in NHL) and that includes manning the point opposite Chara on the team's power play. That translated into 13 goals and 36 points last year, numbers the improving Wideman could slightly exceed this season.
Wideman has a nice offensive skill set but isn't expected to see first-line minutes with Boston this year. Still, he has some upside and will see time on the Bruins' PP, so he could post better-than-expected numbers this season. Consider him sleeper material.
One of the few bright spots on a very bad team last year, Wideman is emerging as a true offensive defenseman and led all St. Louis rearguards in points and shots on goal. He could be a good late-round pickup for you if your draft runs deep. You might want to steer clear, however, if your fantasy pool awards points for plus-minus as Wideman's rating was a league-worst minus 31.