Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals Acquire Florida Panthers Defenseman Dennis Wideman

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 21:  Dennis Wideman #6 of the Florida Panthers skates during an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on February 21, 2011 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Alan ZlotorzynskiCorrespondent IIIFebruary 28, 2011

After claiming Marco Sturm off waivers on Friday, the Capitals have not let the trade deadline come and go without making a deal.

Washington acquired defenseman Dennis Wideman from the Southeast division-foe Florida Panthers today. 

Washington traded prospect Jake Hauswirth, currently playing for the Caps' ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Styingrays. The Caps also included a 2011 third-round draft pick to complete the deal.

Wideman, 27, is a seven-year NHL veteran who has played for the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins and the Panthers. The 6'0'', 200-pound defenseman has appeared in 439 career NHL games, recording 55 goals, 143 assists and 325 penalty minutes.

This season, Wideman has nine goals and 24 assists while playing in 61 games for the Panthers.

Wideman, who will wear No. 6 with the Capitals. He set career highs in assists (37), points (50) and tied his career high in goals (13) during the 2008-09 season with the Bruins.

Wideman also registered a career-high plus-32 rating and helped lead Boston to first overall in the Eastern Conference during the season. An eighth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres (241st overall) in the 2002 Entry Draft, Wideman made his NHL debut while a member of the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 9, 2005.

He has one more season left on his contract that carries a $3.9 million cap hit. He will make $4.5 million next in 2011-12.

This the second deal this season the Caps have made for a veteran blue liner. Washington added defenseman Scott Hannan from Colorado earlier this season for Tomas Fleischmann. 

The Caps have been thin on the blue line this season, as Tom Poti has missed 42 games this season because of lower-body injuries and Mike Green has hardly played since Feb. 12 after taking a puck to the ear against the Penguins two weeks ago.

Caps rookie John Carlson has filled in very nicely with Green out of the Capitals lineup. However the Caps power play continues to suffer without a true quarterback to help it along.  Washington had the No. 1 power play in the NHL last season, but this season, they have dropped to 25th, converting just 16.3 percent of extra-man opportunities.

Wideman will see extensive play with the extra man and should help bolster the struggling power play. Wideman has been productive on the Panthers power play this year, with 19 of his 33 points having come with the man advantage.

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