The Montreal Canadiens have extended defenseman Chris Wideman’s contract by two years, extending it to the 2023-24 season. The contract extension was revealed on Monday though no financial details were initially disclosed. However, it is reported that the new one-way contract Wideman signed is worth $1.525 million. His annual salary cap is $762,500. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on Boxing.
Wideman signed a one-year, $750,000 deal with the Canadiens last summer after being named the top defenseman in the KHL with the Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo.
With the Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, and Montreal Canadiens, Wideman recorded 20 goals and 52 assists in 245 NHL games. Wideman was selected by the Senators in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. After playing for San Diego of the American Hockey League in 2019-20, he moved to Torpedo Nizhny of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2020-21.
The Canadiens topped the NHL Draft Lottery on May 10. In the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre in Montreal on July 7-8, the team will have the No. 1 selection following a record of 22-49-11, last place in the NHL standings. The 32-year-old was eligible to become a free agent on July 13.
“It felt right,” Wideman said of his decision to re-sign with the Canadiens without pursuing a free-agent contract. “This year was obviously tough for our team, but on a personal level, an opportunity for me to play in the NHL and re-establish myself in the league. Just the way that I felt I fit in with the group on and off the ice. Those things are invaluable when you’re making a decision as a player.” Check out the top new sportsbooks for betting on the NHL.
The Canadiens initially signed Wideman to a one-year contract on July 28, 2021. He appeared in 64 games with the Canadiens this season, notching 4-23-27 totals and was minus-25 with an average of 14:53 of ice time per game. With 12 power-play assists, he tied Jeff Petry for first at the position with 27 points.
Wideman said he has grown to respect the Canadiens’ new management team and head coach Martin St. Louis. Owner and president Geoff Molson also had a pleasant conversation with him after the season ended. Wideman spent his last night in Montreal at a pub with some of his teammates before he returned to St. Louis for the summer.
“Having the opportunity to be in Montreal for two years was something I was very interested in when the opportunity came available,” Wideman said.
“It was something that I didn’t think twice on. Some of the emotions that I had toward the end of the season playing with some of these guys that I’ve become pretty close with, it would have been hard leaving and going somewhere else. And that was on a last place team, so I can’t imagine how much fun it’s going to be when we’re playing a lot better this year and even the year after.”
Meanwhile, despite the COVID-19 restrictions and the Canadiens placing last in the standings, Wideman and his wife adored Montreal this season.
“Unfortunately with the COVID, we didn’t even get to experience the full opportunity that’s out there. But just the culture … having the French aspect of the city. I tell people back home in St. Louis it’s as close as being in Europe as you’re going to get in North America,” Wideman said.
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