Wideman at the local rink
Chris Wideman imitated ordinary people to practice the love of his sport, hockey. During the long break and with the closing of the training center, the American took his skates and his stick to show up at the local rink near his home in Montreal.
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“Growing up, I never had that chance to skate outside,” said the defenseman from St. Louis, Missouri. You drive in Montreal and you come across exterior mirrors that are maintained by the city. It’s awesome. Young people are extremely lucky to have this. “
“On my first day out on the ice, I hadn’t put on my skates for 15 days,” he continued. I was just happy to be on an ice rink. After five or six minutes of skating, there was a younger boy who came up to tell me he thought I was good and he wanted to know where I was playing. We laughed a lot. But it was really fun. For the first day, I spent almost 90 minutes on the ice taking shots and passing with the kids. I was happy to meet real supporters who stay in my neighborhood. “
In Boston, Wideman will play his first game since Dec. 11 against the Blues in St. Louis. He had moved away from the team to be present at the birth of his first child. Days later, the American received bad news testing positive for Covid-19, forcing him to take time off for the trip to Tampa, Raleigh and Sunrise.
The story of Wideman skating on outdoor ice is not unique.
“Chris did it, like several other players in Montreal,” said Dominique Ducharme a few hours before the game against the Bruins. It’s not always publicized. I know Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson skated outside often too. Cole (Caufield) and Nick (Suzuki) also did. It shows you that we are still playing a game and that they are passionate. There is a reason that leads them to the NHL. When you take away the chance to be on the ice, they look for other ways. They come back to the basics of the game. ”
Suzuki or Allen
Despite himself, Wideman found himself the center of attention for the last few days. Colleagues at the English-language NHL.com site voted for him as the Canadiens representative in the All-Star Game.
It was an odd choice, especially as Wideman has been battling to stay in the team’s top six defensemen since the start of the season. Asked about this choice, the 32-year-old defender preferred to laugh.
“I didn’t know I had so many family members working for the NHL site. They are nice ! “
Wideman went on to say that if he had to choose a player for his team, he would go for Nick Suzuki or Jake Allen. We would talk about two more logical candidates to get a trip to Vegas at the beginning of February.
CH will play their first game since Jan. 1 against the Bruins. Ducharme will count on the return of several players for this meeting. But the Habs will have the challenge of regaining their pace quickly against a team that did not benefit from a long break.