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Players we love (and love to hate): Calgary Flames

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Not the western Canadian team that the Bruins beat in the Cup Final. And not the one that is captained by a former Bruin. The other one.

Legend.
Legend.
Elsa

There isn't much in the way of history between the Bruins and the Flames. The most noteworthy happenings between these two squads happened recently:

  • The Flames didn't trade Jarome Iginla to the Bruins.
  • Iginla came anyways, and then got a standing ovation back in Calgary.
  • The Bruins pasted poor Leland Irving.
And that's pretty much it. The Flames are just another Western Conference team. Except for...

Player we love: Dennis Wideman

That's right. The legend himself, Big Money Wides. He of the one-timed rocket goal. Big Money Wides became a whipping boy over the course of his 3.5 years in a Bruins uniform, maligned by people who, when asked why he "sucks," simply replied with "BECAUSE HE SUCKS!" Eloquent. Big Money Wides, it could be argued, started the puck-moving renaissance in Boston.

He arrived to address that need in the trade that sent Brad Boyes to St. Louis. That Bruins defense contained plodders like Mark Stuart, Milan Jurcina and Andrew Alberts. Today? The Bruins have a fleet-of-foot defense corps with the likes of Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton back there. It could be argued, then, that Big Money Wides was a trailblazer, a breaker of barriers. Without his heroism, would there be puck-moving defensemen in Boston? Absolutely not. It doesn't matter if he sometimes puck-moved the puck into his own net. Neither here nor there.

Big Money Wides' greatest moments in a Bruins uniform came in the 2010 playoffs, when he led the B's in scoring with 12 points in 13 games. Rumor has it the NHL orchestrated the Bruins' 3-0 collapse because they feared what Big Money Wides might have done to the record book had his playoffs continued.

But his biggest contribution to the Bruins was one of the more selfless acts in hockey history, outlined below in a dramatic retelling:

SCENE: Peter Chiarelli's office. June, 2010. There's a knock at the door.

CHIARELLI: Come in.

BIG MONEY WIDES: Hi, Peter. Do you have a second?

CHIARELLI: Sure, BMW. Is this about the number retirement? It's in the works.

BMW: No, this is more than that. Peter, I think I need to go.

Chiarelli gasps, passes out and wakes up ten hours later.

CHIARELLI: W-w-w-w-what do you mean, Big Money Wides?!

BMW: Peter, this team needs an elite scorer. You know it, I know it. And normally it'd be me, but you know how the NHL is working against me to keep the record books safe.

CHIARELLI: True, true...damn Bettman.

BMW: There's this guy, Horton, down in Florida. I already made a few calls, he's available. I'm ready to sacrifice myself for the good of the team, for the fans. They need this. All you have to do is make the call.

CHIARELLI: But BMW, what about your legacy?! People have to know about this selflessness! You're sacrificing yourself for the good of the team, you're a hero!

BMW: I don't need accolades, Peter. Keep this between us. Someday, the fans will understand.

BMW exits. Fast forward to June 15, 2011, somewhere in Ontario. The seconds tick down on Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final

ANNOUNCER: ...and the Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions!

Big Money Wides, watching in his living room, receives a phone call. It's Peter Chiarelli.

CHIARELLI: Thank you. This is all because of your sacrifice.

BMW: It had to be done.

BMW hangs up, nods to himself in satisfaction.

Yes, Big Money Wides' greatest contribution to the Bruins was the trade that brought Nathan Horton to town. Without Wideman, there is no Horton. Without Horton, there's probably no Cup. Therefore, without Wideman, there's no Cup (don't question it). And for that, we all owe him a debt of gratitude.

Player we hate: Deryk Engelland

First things first: Deryk with a "y." Why?

Second: Engelland is responsible for this:

Asavard_medium

A questionable-at-best shiver to the head of Marc Savard, the same player who was severely concussed by Engelland's piece of garbage teammate Matt Cooke several months earlier.

It was never officially determined whether or not Savard suffered a concussion on this hit, but let's be honest: he did. The fact that he played in the next four games after this hit is a stinging indictment of the Bruins' medical staff, but that's a story for another day.

Nearly two weeks later, Savard was helped off the Pepsi Center ice, his All-Star career over because of another concussion, this time at the hands of former teammate Matt Hunwick.

Yes, it was Cooke's that did the most damage. No, this hit shouldn't have had such severe repercussions. But it was also an avoidable hit, a predatory hit, and was one more straw on the camel's back, so to speak.

For that, Engelland gets the "hated" moniker on the Flames. And the whole "Deryk with a y" thing definitely doesn't help.