Dennis Wideman didn't do anything spectacular to improve his value in either the fantasy universe or the real world last season, and it showed -- the 34-year-old posted 18 goals and a minus-6 rating while playing in just 57 games, the result of frequently being a healthy scratch. If the healthy scratches weren't enough of an indication of the Flames' feelings towards Wideman, the team declined to re-sign him, so the veteran defenseman remains a free agent as the 2017-18 season approaches. Aside from his 2014-15 campaign, which saw him he record a seemingly out-of-nowhere 56 points and 173 shots on goal, Wideman has mostly been a modest scoring threat, and he isn't likely to improve significantly regardless of where he ends up landing.
Wideman chipped in five goals and 13 assists in 57 games this season. The blueliner is just two years removed from his eye-popping 56-point effort, but the lack of production in 2016-17 shouldn't at all come as a surprise given that he managed just 19 points in 2015-16. With 87 shots on goal, 61 hits and and 74 blocked shots, Wideman simply didn't do enough to prove valuable in the vast majority of formats this year.
Wideman scored a goal in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Penguins on Monday. It really appears his fantastic 2014-15 was a fluke. He's missed 47 games over the last two seasons due to injuries and a suspension, but he only has six goals and 31 points in his last 105 contests. In 80 games during the 2014-15 season, he tallied 15 goals and 56 points, but that seems like a long time ago now. Wideman posted a 8.7 shooting percentage in 2014-15; this season, his shooting percentage is below his 5.7 percent career average at 3.8. However, Wideman is also recording far fewer shots and playing fewer minutes this season than two years ago. Given that he's only back in the lineup due to an injury to Michael Stone, Wideman's fantasy value is virtually nonexistant.
Wideman was a healthy scratch for Tuesday's game against the Predators. Wideman has managed just one point over his past 10 games. The veteran is in a defenseman logjam and appears to be the odd-man out at the moment. With the NHL trade deadline right around the corner and his impending free agent status at season's end, he could be on the trade block for the thrifty Flames looking for any kind of return.
Wideman has just 16 points on the season and one in his last 10 games. He's not actually faring that much worse than last season, as his 16 points in 52 games only slightly trail the 19 in 51 he recorded in 2015-16. The biggest factor working against Wideman is his massive decrease in power-play time (1:08 on average vs. 2:57 last year), which will continue to limit his opportunities to hit the scoresheet down the stretch.
Wideman has averaged just 1:18 on the power play this season, a stark contrast to the 2:57 from 2015-16. His ice time is actually up, albeit slightly, from last year, but the 33-year-old's lack of man-advantage time clearly indicates his role on the Flames' back end is continuing to diminish. Four of Wideman's 15 points have come while up a man, and his PIM, shots, hits and blocked shots are all similar to where they were last season, but he's past his prime and not delivering the same caliber of fantasy goods he did earlier in his career. Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton are far superior options on Calgary's blue line, and T.J. Brodie is certainly better than his 17 points and minus-22 indicate, so Wideman is probably best left to the deepest of leagues.
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Last 7 Games
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