February 28, 2011
Wideman, a right-handed shooting offensive defenseman, gives the Caps more balance on the backline, another power play point option and depth in the event that injuries to current Caps defensemen Tom Poti(notes) and Mike Green(notes) linger into the post-season.
Wideman has 33 points in 61 games, with 19 on the power play; which is key considering how that unit has been inconstant this year. It's a trade that speaks volumes about the health of the veteran puck-moving defensemen on this team, as Wideman is another right-handed shot on the blueline with Green and John Carlson(notes).
But here's the thing on Wideman: He's got another year left on his deal at $4.5 million base salary (and a $3,937,500 cap hit). They'll clear Scott Hannan(notes), who's an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but now have Green, Carlson, Tom Poti, Karl Alzner(notes) and Wideman on the same blueline next season. At least, at the moment. This does feel like the first step to something else.
The Panthers get a third and a big body (6-5) in Hauswirth, who had a good camp two seasons ago for the Caps. But we're going to give this one Two Milburys, as Wideman's not been the same player as he was in his breakout year in Boston and could be an object of scorn if he's a liability next season with that contract.