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Posted at 10:23 AM ET, 05/16/2012

Dennis Wideman will draw interest on free-agent market

When it comes to puck-moving, offensively inclined defensemen, this year’s unrestricted free-agent pool is on the shallow side, which is why Dennis Wideman might have played his last game as a Capital.

Wideman is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career July 1, and despite his struggles in the postseason — he finished tied with a team-worst minus-7, no goals points and only three points in the playoffs — he could be one of the more sought-after blueliners if he tests the market.

Nashville’s Ryan Suter will command the most attention as a free agent, but of the remaining defensemen who will be UFAs, Wideman is among the leaders in points (46) and average ice time.

Wideman, who just wrapped up a four-year contract worth $15.75 million, said Monday that he had not thought too much about his pending free agency and didn’t let it distract him during the season.

“No, it wasn’t bad. This was my first time going into it,” said Wideman, who was a first-time all-star this past season. “But I think I tried to concentrate on the task at hand as much as possible, and I think I did a good job of keeping that separate.”

The 29-year-old said he would be open to returning to Washington, whether or not that happens remains to be seen.

“Obviously, I like it here. I’ve had a lot of fun here in the last year,” Wideman said. “I like where we’re going, the core group of guys is really, really good. So why not? I’d love to be back.”

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By  |  10:23 AM ET, 05/16/2012

 
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