Chris Wideman announces his retirement

Wideman was a glue guy in the locker room and a manufacturer of many nicknames throughout the team.
Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Chris Wideman has missed the entire 2023-24 season with injury, and on the final night of the Habs season, the 34-year-old announced his retirement.

After 110 games with the Habs, Wideman went down with a back injury and it has managed to get the best of him, forcing him to hang up his skates. After a great year in the KHL, Wideman clawed his way back into the league with the Habs. He managed to play a solid role in the top six on the blueline.

The fourth-round selection by the Ottawa Senators in 2009 was a mobile defender, who loved to fire shots from the blue line to create offence. Wideman read the defence well and knew when to accelerate and take risks, but also when to stay back and make routine breakout passes. His smallish frame and lack of any standout trait limited where he played in the lineup, but he kept the morale high and was competitive.

A veteran of 291 NHL games, Wideman spent parts of seven seasons in the league. Wideman split his career between the Ottawa Senators, Edmonton Oilers, and Florida Panthers and then finished off his career with the Canadiens in his final two seasons. The right-shot defender scored 20-58-78 totals

His brilliant season in the KHL didn't translate to the same production with the Canadiens. But Wideman did get a chance to compete for a Stanley Cup during his first season with the Habs, although the team fell short. But not many players get to say they played in the Stanley Cup finals, so I don't think that he is too upset.

It's hard to say where his professional life leads him next, but I would think that he is a solid guy to keep around. I can see him filling a nice role in player development, like Paul Byron. He is close with the core of the team and he battled his way back from the KHL to the NHL to put a nice ending on his hockey career.

Wideman played with many of the Canadiens' brightest defenders of the future, including Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris and Justin Barron. Certainly, to carve out a career in the league like he did, he has some insights and advice that would make him an ideal hire. He aired out how tough it has been dealing with his injury, and I can't imagine completely stepping away from the game would make things any easier.