It's a video that raised plenty of eyebrows across the hockey world and resulted in his trade from the Ottawa Senators in 2018. And now, he's speaking out about it.
Former Ottawa Senators forward Chris Wideman was revealed in a leaked Uber video openly mocking the team coaching staff and joking about the state of the team during a road trip in Arizona in November of 2018. Along with Wideman hitching a ride with the car service after a team dinner were Matt Duchene, Thomas Chabot, and Chris Tierney, along with Dylan DeMelo and Alex Formenton.
Apparently, the driver was less than thrilled over the paltry tip that he received from the players, whom he described as “cheap entitled kids” and soon uploaded the video YouTube and sent the link via Twitter to the Ottawa Citizen.
One particular target of the players jokes was assistant coach Matt Raymond, who had been running one of the NHL's least-effective penalty killing units at the time of the video.
"Do you notice that when [Raymond] runs the video, if you actually do pay attention, he doesn't ever teach you anything?" Wideman asked. "He just commentates what's happening."
Duchene responded that he had stopped paying attention weeks ago.
"We don't change anything, ever," he said. "So why do we even have a meeting? I haven't paid attention in three weeks."
It wasn't long before the players found themselves being reprimanded in GM Pierre Dorion’s office.
“I traded for you,” he said to DeMelo and Tierney. “You’re supposed to be a leader,” he said to Duchene.
Of course, it was Wideman who would pay the heaviest price.
“I was told that someone’s head was going to roll and it was going to be me,” Wideman said.
It wouldn't be long before Wideman was jettisoned to the Edmonton Oilers. He's been the definition of a journeyman ever since, having only played in a total of six NHL games since the trade to the Oilers and playing for several different teams across the AHL. He's currently with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL, and appears to have gotten his professional career back on track. Not only did he the KHL's defenseman of the year award with 41 points in 59 games, but also earned an invitation to suit up for Team USA in the recent World Championships tournament.
“It was guys talking about their jobs and frustrations with some of the results we had been getting, and the results were a direct correlation of most of our performances,” Wideman says. “It’s something that we were passionate about and clearly frustrated.
“I’m sorry to the coach (Raymond) that was involved. What was said … was unfair to him. I do feel bad for that. As far as the way that it’s affected me, unfortunately it’s hard to say that it hasn’t. Without that happening, things would be different.”
The full interview with Wideman can be viewed here.