Dennis Wideman
Born March 20, 1983 (1983-03-20) (age 38)
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Calgary Flames
St. Louis Blues
Boston Bruins
Florida Panthers
Washington Capitals
NHL Draft 241st overall, 2002
Buffalo Sabres
Playing career 2005–present

Dennis Wideman (born Dennis Earl Wideman on March 20, 1983) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman and alternate captain for the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He was drafted in the eighth round (241st overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing Career[edit | edit source]

Minor Playing Career[edit | edit source]

Dennis grew up playing his minor hockey in his hometown of Elmira, Ontario, playing for the Woolwich Township Wildcats "B" of the OMHA's Tri-County League and the Guelph Reps AAA Bantams of the OMHA's South Central AAA League in 1997–98.

He spent the 1998–99 season with the Elmira Sugar Kings of the Mid-Western Junior Hockey League (MWJHL), scoring 18 goals and 48 points in 47 games. He was then drafted by the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Dennis began his OHL career with the Wolves in the 1999–2000 season. In his rookie season in Sudbury, he had ten goals and 36 points in 63 games. He then added three points in 12 games in the playoffs. He began 2000–01 in Sudbury, scoring seven goals and 18 points in 25 games before being traded to the London Knights.

Dennis finished the 2000–01 season with London, earning eight goals and 16 points in 24 games with the Knights.

In the playoffs, he had four assists in five games. He exploded offensively in the 2001–02 season, scoring 27 goals and 69 points in 65 games with London while registering 141 penalty minutes. In 12 playoff games, he had four goals and 13 points.

Dennis had another solid offensive season in 2002–03 as he had 20 goals and 47 points in 55 games. He then added six goals and 12 points in 13 playoff games.

Dennis returned to London as an over-ager in 2003–04 and had another very solid season. He scored 24 goals and had 65 points in 60 games while posting a +52 rating. In 15 playoff games, he scored seven goals and 17 points to finish his junior career.

NHL Career[edit | edit source]

St. Louis Blues[edit | edit source]

Dennis signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues on June 30, 2004. He played his first professional season with the Worcester IceCats of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2004–05.

In 79 games with Worcester, he had 13 goals and 43 points. He then began the 2005–06 season with Blues' new affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, also of the AHL, scoring two goals and six points in 12 games. Dennis was then called up to the NHL and appeared in 67 games with the Blues in 2005–06, scoring eight goals and 24 points.

In 2006–07, he made the Blues out of training camp, and in 55 games, he scored five goals and 22 points.

On February 27, 2007, the Blues traded Dennis to the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Brad Boyes.

Boston Bruins[edit | edit source]

Dennis finished the 2006–07 season with the Bruins, as he recorded three points in 20 games with the team. He broke out offensively in the 2007–08 season, scoring 13 goals and 36 points in 81 games, helping the Bruins return to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

On December 31, 2007, he scored a memorable goal at 4:40 of the second period against Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Kari Lehtonen during a power play; it was the 18,000th goal in Bruins history.

In the 2008 playoffs, Dennis had three assists in six games. In 2008–09, Wideman once again had a very solid offensive season, scoring 13 goals and 50 points in 79 games to tie Zdeno Chara for most points by a defenceman on the team. He also finished sixth in the NHL with a +32 rating.

In eleven 2009 playoff games, Dennis had seven assists. He struggled in the 2009–10 season, however, scoring only six goals and 30 points in 76 games. Despite his lower regular season point production, he had a very strong offensive 2010 playoff performance, scoring a goal and 12 points in 13 games.

On June 22, 2010, the Bruins traded Dennis, their first-round draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and their third-round pick in 2011 to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Nathan Horton & Gregory Campbell.

Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals & Calgary Flames[edit | edit source]

Dennis had a solid offensive season with the Panthers in 2010–11, as he scored nine goals and 33 points in 61 games.

The Panthers traded him to the Washington Capitals for Jake Hauswirth and the Capitals' third-round draft pick in 2011. At the time of the trade, Dennis was second on the Panthers' scoring list.

On December 9, 2011, Dennis was initially credited with the first hat-trick in his career in a 4–2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The following day, however, the play was reviewed and his third goal was officially credited to teammate Brooks Laich with Dennis receiving the primary assist. Despite the change, the game remained the first four-point performance of his career.

At the conclusion of the 2011–12 season, as a pending unrestricted free agent, Dennis's rights were traded to the Calgary Flames on June 27, 2012 in exchange for Jordan Henry and a fifth-round draft pick.

Dennis was then immediately signed to a five-year, $26.25 million contract with the Flames. He recorded six goals and 16 assists during the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, his first with the Flames.

Abuse of Linesman Incident[edit | edit source]

On January 27, 2016, Dennis hit linesman Don Henderson from behind in a game between the Flames and Nashville Predators.

Video footage showed Wideman getting body checked along the boards by the Predators' Miikka Salomaki and getting up slowly. As he skated to the bench, he cross-checked the linesman violently from behind.

Following the game, Dennis claimed the check was unintentional and that he did not see Henderson until the last moment. Henderson suffered a concussion as a result of the collision and would miss the remainder of the 2015–2016 NHL season.

It was later revealed that Dennis had also suffered a concussion on the Salomaki body check and refused treatment by the Flames' training staff in violation of the NHL's mandatory head injury protocols.

Dennis was suspended indefinitely the next day, pending a hearing after the All-Star break. On February 3, 2016, he was handed a 20-suspension without pay for the incident, the minimum sanction for deliberately striking an on-ice official under NHL Rule 40.2. He also forfeited $564,516.18 in salary.

While the NHL acknowledged that he had been injured, it took the line that any possible disorientation Dennis suffered did not excuse the attack on Henderson.

The suspension was immediately appealed to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who upheld the initial ruling, saying that a lengthy ban was merited given "the severity of the conduct involved."

Bettman was also angered by Dennis's apparent lack of remorse, citing a text Dennis sent to a teammate in which he blamed the furor over the hit on "the stupid refs and the stupid media."

The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) then appealed Dennis's suspension to a neutral arbitrator—the first time that this procedure had been used since the adoption of the renewed collective bargaining agreement.

On March 11, 2016, arbitrator James Oldham concluded Dennis's attack on Henderson was not intentional and that he should have been penalized under Rule 40.3, thus reducing the penalty to 10 games.

Dennis had already served 19 games at the time of the ruling, but was refunded half of his forfeited salary.

Career Statistics[edit | edit source]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1997–98 Guelph Bantam AAA SCTA 37 23 22 45 42
1998–99 Elmira Sugar Kings MWJHL 47 18 40 48 62
1999–00 Sudbury Wolves OHL 63 10 26 36 64 12 1 2 3 22
2000–01 Sudbury Wolves OHL 25 7 11 18 37
2000–01 London Knights OHL 24 8 8 16 38 5 0 4 4 6
2001–02 London Knights OHL 65 27 42 69 141 12 4 9 13 26
2002–03 London Knights OHL 55 20 27 47 83 14 6 6 12 10
2003–04 London Knights OHL 60 24 41 65 85 15 7 10 17 17
2004–05 Worcester IceCats AHL 79 13 30 43 65
2005–06 Peoria Rivermen AHL 12 2 4 6 31
2005–06 St. Louis Blues NHL 67 8 16 24 83
2006–07 St. Louis Blues NHL 55 5 17 22 44
2006–07 Boston Bruins NHL 20 1 2 3 27
2007–08 Boston Bruins NHL 81 13 23 36 70 6 0 3 3 0
2008–09 Boston Bruins NHL 79 13 37 50 34 11 0 7 7 4
2009–10 Boston Bruins NHL 76 6 24 30 34 13 1 11 12 4
2010–11 Florida Panthers NHL 61 9 24 33 33
2010–11 Washington Capitals NHL 14 1 6 7 6
2011–12 Washington Capitals NHL 82 11 35 46 46 14 0 3 3 2
2012–13 Calgary Flames NHL 46 6 16 22 12
2013–14 Calgary Flames NHL 46 4 17 21 18
2014–15 Calgary Flames NHL 80 15 41 56 34 11 0 7 7 12
NHL totals 707 92 258 350 441 55 1 31 32 22
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