No. 8: When he was acquired by the Boston Bruins at the trade deadline in 2007, defenseman Dennis Wideman became Public Enemy No. 1.
Not only had the Bruins dealt away popular forward Brad Boyes to acquire Wideman, but the blueliner’s struggles in his own end and with the puck on the breakout made a Bruins squad that was sinking toward the bottom of the league look even worse.
Well, what a difference a year made. By the time the 2007-08 season came to a close, Wideman had earned his spot as the club’s No. 2 defenseman behind Zdeno Chara. And when it came time to re-up with the 25-year-old restricted free agent, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli did what he had to do — signing Wideman to a four-year deal worth a reported $15.75 million. The commitment Boston made to Wideman, and the Ontario native’s development as a top-notch puck-mover, were grand enough to earn a spot on the list of Top 10 Bruins stories of ’08. (more…)