It’s probably safe to say Dennis Wideman likes playing in Washington. Since being acquired at the 2011 trade deadline, the 28-year-old rearguard made his first ever NHL All-Star game, scored his first career hat trick and finished with his highest point total (45) in three years.
Also safe to say? That Wideman likes playing in Washington far more than he did in Boston.
As CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty explains it, the end of Wideman’s tenure in Boston was marked by catcalls from Bruins fans, putting him on par with whipping boys of years past (see: Gill, Hal) and present (see: Corvo, Joe).
Wideman says he remembers the boos, but also that he wasn’t playing well.
“I was getting frustrated,” he said. “They’re knowledgeable hockey fans, so I assumed they weren’t too happy with the way I was playing.
“They were just being Boston fans. They don’t put up with that. That’s just the way it is.”
While Wideman says he isn’t using that treatment as fuel for revenge — “I don’t know if I’m motivated by proving anybody wrong,” he explained — his numbers suggest he likes facing his ex-mates. In four games against Boston this year Wideman posted 2G-1A-3PTS while averaging over 25 minutes a night, above his average TOI per game.
Despite these numbers, the Caps defenseman said he holds no grudge towards the organization for shipping him out of town.
“It’s business. That’s the way it works,” he said. “I don’t sit there and say ‘I can’t believe they traded me’ because that’s not how it is.
“Look around and watch the other sports. That’s just the way it works.”