After a strong performance last night against the Oilers, the Senators have locked up Chris Wideman to a two-year, one-way deal worth $800K each season.
With injuries and inconsistency plaguing the Senators blueline, Wideman has appeared in 44 of the team's 61 games, averaging around 13 minutes a night with the bulk of his ice-time at even-strength. Although I personally expected more than his 5 goals, 4 assists this season, most of the team's defensemen not named Erik Karlsson have struggled to produce points this season. Add in the fact that Wideman can't play his usual powerplay role that he filled so well in winning the Eddie Shore award for the top AHL defenseman, and you can see why his point totals have depreciated. At 5-on-5, Wideman rocks a 47% CF% -- which is near team average and fourth on the team after Karlsson, Wiercioch, and Methot.
From Hockeyviz, Wideman has spent most of the season with pairmates that have been barely NHL quality (Cowen, Borowiecki), further adding context to his performance (points, possession). Interestingly, his play has really taken off of late when he was paired with Patrick Wiercioch, and the duo make a strong, modern day third-pairing in the NHL. However, Wideman's cheap deal may lead to the end of Wiercioch's time in Ottawa, as the team has been looking to trade him after coming close last season.
Given how cheap the deal is, it's fair to say that Wideman will likely perform to or exceed the value of the contract, especially compared to peers making around the same amount. As always, the high-level team evaluation will hinge on what the team decides to do with potential savings, as well.