Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I'm Looking at You, Dennis Wideman

by Jes

I remember Dennis Wideman as a rookie with the St. Louis Blues. He wasn't considered much of a prospect at all after being drafted in the 8th round, but the Blues were extremely thin on talent, and Wideman's offensive acumen and ability to run a Power Play earned him a regular spot with the Bluenotes after the lockout. Boy, was that a long season ...

The next season, the Blues dealt Wideman to Boston for sniper Brad Boyes, and I figured the Bruins were smoking something good. As much of an offensive game as Wideman might show at times, his defense was atrocious, and he isn't particularly fast or big. Don't forget Wideman's worst penalty shot attempt of all time. *facepalm*

Never did I imagine that Wideman would develop the defensive ability that he displayed with the Bruins last season, as the young blueliner emerged as a leader on the spunky Boston club. Sure, defensemen take longer to develop, and Wideman is only 25, but most 8th round draft picks with such glaring holes in their game don't usually morph into reliable 2-way players.

The Bruins obviously know what they've got, because they just signed Wideman to a new four year $15.75M contract, avoid arbitration.

Now that the Bruins have locked up Dennis the Menace, what can we expect from him in the next four seasons?

Looking at Wideman's career to date, one sees a rather sharp improvement in the defensive end, as well as a steady increase in offensive production. The advanced metrics show Wideman to be average-ish in his defensive play, a marked increase from being a total sieve early in his career.

The most glaring stat is the large spike in ice time he received last season as his role was drastically increased. Wideman's play quickly thrust him into the role of "#2 guy" behind big Zdeno Chara.

For fantasy leaguers, it would be safe to suggest that Wideman will continue to have a big role with the Bruins last season, as the team looks to make more waves and did not bring in any high priced vets to shove Wideman's ice time down.

Prediction: Wideman doesn’t shoot the puck on net as much as he should (just 2 shots on goal per game), but his passing and smarts are evident when he has the puck.

With Chara as the stalwart, Wideman is not going to put up monster point totals, but 35-40 points out of a guy few people notice could be a huge bargain in your league. Expect 10 goals and 30 assists next season.

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Another Sabres draft pick who panned out to be a pretty good player WITH ANOTHER TEAM! Oh i forgot Keith Ballard, Corey Sarich and Philipe Boucher to name a few.Sabres management are a bunch of suckhole puppets!
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