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Monday, July 21, 2008

Brad Boyes or Dennis Wideman

With Dennis Wideman's arbitration hearing coming up, everyone has been thinking about how much he is really worth. That's not what I'm going to write about today. Right now, I am going to look back and see whether that February 27, 2007 trade was worth it.

On February 27, 2007, the Bruins traded struggling winger Brad Boyes for struggling defenseman Dennis Wideman. Both players made minor impacts for the rest of that season. In 07-08, both players had exemplary seasons. Dennis Wideman posted a 13-23-36 line with a +11. He was second on the team (2nd to Zdeno Chara) with an average of over 25 minutes per game. Wideman played in 81 games and 2,037 minutes, 9th in NHL. Wideman spent the majority of the season alongside Zdeno Chara and complimented Chara's stay at home style by being able to move the puck and set up plays. Dennis Wideman "quarterbacked" the power play unit throughout the season.

Brad Boyes went on to score 43 goals (6th in the NHL) and have 65 points (tied-1st on STL Blues). That's the Brad Boyes we knew and loved before Dave Lewis. It's clear that Dave Lewis's system in 06-07 corrupted Boyes. Had he stayed, there is no doubt in my mind that playing next to Glen Metropolit or Marc Savard would have given him the opportunity to score at least 30 last season. It's a shame Chiarelli gave up on Brad Boyes. That being said, I've grown attached to Dennis Wideman and given the opportunity, I would not trade him back for Brad Boyes. Dennis Wideman is too valuable to this team as a fast puck moving defenseman. At 25, the Ontario native has a long career ahead of him, and I want him protecting Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez from the top lines in the NHL.

***Alright, I'll make a prediction. Mainly because Brian Campbell got a 56.7 million dollar contract, the arbitrator will likely give Dennis Wideman a large raise. I'm thinking 3.2 million dollars. That puts the Bruins at an annual cap hit of 57.5 million dollars (according to Fluto Shinzawa). The Salary Cap is 56.7 million. If the Bruins buy out Peter Schaefer, then we would be able to keep Murray and get back 1.33 million dollars, enough to be under the cap for 08-09. I do believe Glen Murray will come back with a great year. He is a very talented right wing and is also in a contract year. If possible I would like to keep Murray, but buying him out is always an option and would relieve the Bruins of his very expensive 4 million dollar contract.


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