Blog Entry

Wideman trade fills a void for Caps

Posted on: February 28, 2011 1:12 pm
Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon must be licking his chops waiting for this June’s draft.

Tallon was the story of last year’s festivities only a few weeks after he got the job when he came home with three first rounders and six of the top 50 players chosen. In less than four months, he’ll have at least 10 picks in the first three rounds, the latest coming today when Florida traded defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Washington Capitals.

The Panthers received a low-level minor leaguer named Jake Hauswirth in the deal, but more important to them was adding another third-round pick in June. It’s the fourth Tallon has stockpiled, to go a along with a first-round choice and two in the second round, and is part of the rapid-fire reload the general manager has engineering for the long-suffering team.

Tallon also shed a $4 million salary for the balance of this season and next, and will have nearly $40 million in available cap space heading into next season. Thanks to what is about to become 10 consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance, the Panthers are a money-losing operation, so how much they use for free agents and the like is debatable.

Tallon has always been about building through the draft anyway, so this fits into his plan. Especially because Wideman wasn’t really a piece the Panthers needed right now.

Wideman came last summer in a trade for Nathan Horton and provided the kind of offense, particularly on the power play that was expected. But he gave the puck away a lot and was a major liability defensively. His minus-26 was the worst on Florida.

But that may not matter much in Washington where the Caps are without Mike Green and Tom Poti these days. Both are offensive-minded defenseman and Green is one of the catalysts for the team’s attack, so Wideman can help fill some of that void.  The irony though is that Washington has been trying to get its blue liners to think more about their own end this season.

No matter. The Caps are hurting and need to get things ramped up for the playoffs. Besides, the third-round pick Washington gave up is likely to be no better than the middle of the round and Hauswirth isn’t really much of a prospect.

So all it really cost the Caps was money. And sometimes that's the cheapest price to pay.
Category: NHL

Since: Jan 25, 2010
Posted on: February 28, 2011 7:01 pm

Wideman trade fills a void for Caps

Stupid trade.  WHat void.  Carlsson is offensive minded defenseman who plays good defense.  He fills in adequately for Green.  THey absolutely do not need a poor defensive defensaman.  Worst trade McPhee has made.

Not sure of Steckel either.  One of their strong points has been faceoffs.  Steckle one of best in NHL.  Traded for a guy who has seen much better days.  36 yrs old and expensive.  Johanson is better center today.  A trade for someone like Brad Richards or someone of similar talent only trade which would upgrade team. Terrible trades in my opinion. 

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2011 4:16 pm

Wideman trade fills a void for Caps

From a Capitals stand point this makes no sense to me. They need a defensive minded Defenseman. Wideman is a liability on defense which is not what they are looking for. All year they have been stressing defense so why add a defenseman who can't play defense. He might be able to score some but not at the rate they Caps want. The main problem is not only Green and Poti are out but the younger defensemen they have play way to soft. Even though Wideman is a vetern he isn't going to help them much if at all being a liability on defense. 

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:03 pm

Wideman trade fills a void for Caps

The only problem I might foresee with such a strategy, is that Dale Tallon and the Panthers might have a tough time in putting fans in seats.  Losing so much talent in the last 2 years (including the run-up to today's deadline) has so cheapened the team so much that it's rapidly become a product not worth investing entertainment dollars in.

10 picks in the first three rounds sounds attractive.  Assuming half to a third of those picks make it through camp to a starting position, that's a very young and poor team that will also require plenty of call-ups from Rochester to even field a serviceable team.  Stephen Weiss will be gone by the end of the day, leaving Marty Reasoner, Darcy Hordichuk and Tomos Vokoun as the biggest names left.  Would you watch such a team for $50/ticket ?

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