When Dennis Wideman’s phone rang Thursday afternoon and he saw it was General Manager George McPhee calling, the defenseman’s first thought wasn’t that he had been named to the NHL’s all-star roster for the first time in his career.
Far from it, actually, as Wideman assumed he has been traded.
“I was pretty surprised,” Wideman said. “I got the call from George and think you guys all know, you’ve talked to George, he’s pretty even keeled. When he called me I was like ‘Oh man, where am I going now?’”
Wideman is ranked fifth among all NHL defensemen in scoring with 29 points (8 goals, 21 assists). Given that this season began with Wideman, 28, uncertain about how his body would fare after he saw last year cut short with a leg hematoma, to have his strong first half of 2011-12 acknowledged with an all-star nod is welcome news.
“It was a big surprise, something that at some point in your career you hope to do,” Wideman said. “I think it’s going to be an experience. Obviously guys that have been there eight, nine, 10 times…. they might want a break if they’ve been there every year. For me and for guys that get picked their first time, it’s really exciting to get a chance to go and see what it’s all about. I’ve been watching it on TV and stuff like that for years.”
While Wideman has watched the all-star game on television, he’s hoping he might be able to find a loophole to opt out of part of the skills competition.
“I’m hoping that we don’t all have to do skills and that I’m one of the ones that don’t have to do it,” Wideman said with a laugh. Reporters threw suggestions at him; the breakaway challenge, perhaps? “No... Hopefully I can just hold a camera and take some pictures.”
More on Wideman’s season:
— Wideman powers Caps in four-point performance (Dec. 9)
— Goal changed after Wideman disputes hat trick (Dec. 10)
— Wideman making contributions on offense (Nov. 3)
— Wideman scores in OT to lift Caps past Pens (Oct. 13)
More from Post Sports:
— Ovechkin, Wideman named to all-star roster
— Ovechkin says his game is coming back around
— Chimera scores as Capitals take 1-0 victory
— Fourth line helps shut the door on Penguins