As expected, the Habs have indeed signed veteran defenceman Chris Wideman. He receives a one-year, one-way contract at the league minimum of $750,000.
Wideman has played in 181 career NHL games over parts of four NHL seasons but after splitting 2018-19 between three teams, he hasn’t seen any time at the top level since then. Following spending all of 2019-20 in the minors, Wideman decided to head overseas in the hopes of earning himself another NHL opportunity.
The decision was a wise one as the 31-year-old was the KHL’s leading scorer in points by a defenceman with nine goals and 32 assists in 59 with Torpedo. He also logged more than 21 minutes a night.
While it’s unrealistic to expect Wideman to step in and replace the offensive production that Shea Weber’s absence will cause, it’s a low-cost look for the Habs. If he can hold down a spot on the third paring behind Jeff Petry and David Savard, the deal could be a bit of a bargain. If he struggles, they can waive him, send him to Laval, and clear him from the cap entirely although they’ll have to pay him his full NHL salary if they do so.