Flames acquire, sign Wideman; re-sign Comeau

Ryan Pike
June 27 2012 01:24PM

 

 

In their first "big" moves of the summer, the Calgary Flames announced on Wednesday afternoon that the club has acquired pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Dennis Wideman. Headed to the Washington Capitals in return are blueliner Jordan Henry (himself a pending UFA) and a fifth round pick in 2013.

The Flames also announced that Wideman has been signed to a five-year contract worth $5.25 million per year. Sportsnet 960 The Fan's Pat Steinberg is reporting that the deal also includes a full no movement clause.

A native of Kitchener, Ontario, the 29-year-old Wideman had a strong season with the Capitals, posting 11 goals and 46 points. In 535 career NHL games with St. Louis, Boston, Florida and Washington, Wideman has 251 points.

He immediately becomes the highest paid Flames blueliner not named Jay Bouwmeester. Based on the amount of money being spent on Wideman, Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano and Anton Babchuk, this perhaps adds fuel to the fire of the Bouwmeester trade rumours.

The Flames have ALSO re-signed winger Blake Comeau to a one-year, $1.25 million contract.

UPDATE: Notes from the Feaster media availability:

-Flames were at 50 contracts prior to the Wideman signing, so they got the Capitals to take back an expiring UFA contract to get the deal done. No further deals are necessarily coming, as the Flames can fit under the cap with their many defenders, but Feaster noted that he's willing to discuss any deal that'll make his team better.

-Comeau was offered a two-year deal, but turned it down in favour of a single year term. He wants to prove that last year's under-performance was a fluke and that his 20+ goal campaign was not.

-The Flames are looking to add a top-six forward and possibly bottom-six guys that make the team more difficult to play against. Not necessarily guys that are "boxers," but guys who finish checks and make teams work hard to get points out of Calgary.

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#51 OptimusFlame
June 27 2012, 02:39PM
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Tanguay/Cammy/Iggy GlenX/Cervenka/??? Sven/Backlund/Comeau Bouma/Jones/Jackman

J-Bo/Wideman Gio/Butler Brodie/Smith

Not a bad line-up. Couple moves to come I hope. We need a 2nd line RW unless Stajan steps it up and Backs can handle the 2nd line duties. That would allow Cervenka to centre the top line and Cammy can slide into the RW spot on the 2nd. As you can see though I would prefer Stajan get traded or waived and buried in the minors. Maybe Reinhart is able to stick in training camp too. Question is, if Sven proves to be too good for the 3rd line...what do you do with tangs?

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#52 MangoTanker
June 27 2012, 02:43PM
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After having time to think about this move, I'm kinda scared. This was the off-season that the FLames were supposed to have alot of cap space, which increased the risk of overpaying. I feel like that's exactly what they did right now.

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#53 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 02:47PM
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Schultz was never signing in Calgary.

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#54 Chris
June 27 2012, 02:48PM
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Relax everyone, we are at the same spot we were at at the end of the season. Sarich was getting 3.3 and Comeau was getting 2.5 Total was 5.8. Now Wideman is getting 5.25 and Comeau is getting 1.25 total is 6.5. So I dont really see the problem and at least now we have some help on the blue-line and on the power play.

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#55 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 02:49PM
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So what were they gonna do with that cap space Mango? Can CapSpace play a top 4 D role? If he/she can, then it's useful...

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#56 gussey
June 27 2012, 02:49PM
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I think its a great move. I'm actually surprised there is so much negativity.

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#57 Baalzamon
June 27 2012, 02:50PM
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ouch, that's a big ticket. Well, I guess FA's are always overpaid //shadows of jaybo.

still, not a bad acquisition. Gives them a top4 dman who can play at even strength.

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#58 Casey
June 27 2012, 02:50PM
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Is Wideman overpaid? Of course. That is what happens on July 1st. If it wasn't Calgary then it would have been somebody else. The top 4 is now better than it was 24 hours ago.

Now to see what Feaster has planned for Bouwmeester...

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#59 Arik
June 27 2012, 02:51PM
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@suba steve

where the hell is that consensus?

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#60 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 02:55PM
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Yeah, there is no consensus to not trade bouwmeester except within the Flamesnation family. And I definitely think they need to keep Bouwmeester.

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#61 15w40
June 27 2012, 02:56PM
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Jay Feaster must have got into the bath salt. If Wideman is worth 5.25 then what is Shea Weber worth.....10?? This contract is going to pan out worse than Bouwmeester. If you are going to blow your wad on that, then why don't you go in hard after Shane Doan? Maybe they are. I think you are further ahead playing out the Bouwmeester contract and letting the Brodie kid get more prime PP time. The Hemsky contract was a little iffy at 2 years, 5 years at a big overpay I say in this case.

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#62 Parallex
June 27 2012, 02:57PM
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@Kent

"$5M+ over 5 years though? That makes me nervous as hell."

5 years is kind of stinky but 5.25M isn't all that much really. Assuming that the Cap stays at it's current number post-CBA negotiations 7.5% of the Cap for a top 4 D-man isn't unreasonable.

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#63 T&A4Flames
June 27 2012, 02:58PM
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Comeau is a good signing for the 1 year. Wideman signing I love. It is exactly what I would have guessed they would have to pay for him as a UFA. I think it moves JBo, though. I agree with everyone that having both of these guys would be awesome but Feast is going to have to parlay JBo into a top 6.

JBo and Smith to St. Louis for Polak, Stewart & possibly a 2nd rounder. I would take any of Stewart, Perron or D'agostini to fill the 2nd line RW position, but Stewart is my 1st choice. Polak as another RH D and a shut down guy would look good.

WIdeman/Butler

Polak/Gio

Carson-Wilson-Babchuk/Brodie

Looks good.

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#64 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 03:02PM
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Wait, you WANT Stewart? We just traded his moronic clone to Montreal this season.

No thanks.

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#65 FireOnIce
June 27 2012, 03:07PM
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@ JW

Agreed re: Chris Stewart. He was up and down between the NHL and AHL for a terrible Avs team, and then stuck and got 30 goals. Not bad. But the dude couldn't decide whether he's a goon or a scorer, and ended up breaking his hand in a fight (my roommate called the broken hand as the fight ended). Now, he's neither a goon, nor a scorer. He's just never been the same since his broken hand. No thanks.

Perron or D'Agostini as the 2nd line RW wouldn't be half bad.

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#66 Parallex
June 27 2012, 03:12PM
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Hmmm, Flames offseason is just about done from the looks of it...

Tanguay-Cammellari-Iginla

Baertschi - Cervenka - ???

Glencross - Backlund - Comeau

Bouma - Jones - Jackman

Stajan

Bouwmeester-Wideman

Giordano-Butler

Brodie-Smith

Babchuk

Kipper Irving

... Still need a 2nd line RW (Doan would be nice, assuming no Parise) but that's it really.

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#67 ALL THE WAY IN
June 27 2012, 03:16PM
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This probably is an open market deal in terms of money and length, but the opportunity to give him a hard sell was worth the 5th rounder. On the open market he would have a lot of options and might've overlooked Calgary even if the money were the same. This sends a good message to the other free agents that Calgary is actively trying to get better and that they're always trying to be more competitive. Always interesting to be a flames fan.

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#68 MangoTanker
June 27 2012, 03:23PM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

So what were they gonna do with that cap space Mango? Can CapSpace play a top 4 D role? If he/she can, then it's useful...

What could they have done with the cap space? Not overpay and give out huge term to UFA players? Or would you like the Flames to go the NYR route and just go crazy overpaying, signing Redde, Drury, Roszival, Gomez, Gaborik, Richards, etc. The FLames gave a 29 year old a 5 year deal with a huge contract. Add in the fact that it might have a NTC/NMC, and the Flames are taking a HUGE risk.

If they Flames had tried to sign a cheaper guy and given him less term (perhaps someone like Coliacovo, Carle, Allen) there wouldn't have been as big a risk. If Wideman proves underwhelming, the Flames are going to have a very expensive, long term contract on their books. With the uncertainty of the CBA, the Flames are going for a high risk/ high reward contract.

Cap space may not be able to play a top 4 D role, but you have to spend it wisely to ensure that it doesn't blow up in your face (see Jeff Finger Toronto contract). This is yet another move showing the Flames building for the now, not the future. The goal of this team is to finish 8th, and I'm not even sure this pushes them into the playoffs.

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#69 xis10ce
June 27 2012, 03:23PM
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This early signing might pay dividends if it convinces another UFA Calgary is more of a potential contender for some amount of playoffs (I'm not necessarily saying the cup, just playoffs) rather than another 10th-12th finish in the West.

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#70 everton fc
June 27 2012, 03:58PM
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I thought the plan, publicly stated, was the team was not interested in this long contracts?

Somehow we have to dump Stajan's contract. And Babchuk's...

I am not so upset by this move, though it does fire a "win-now" flare. At least on the surface...

He'll be 34 when this contract runs out, by the way.

Question: Do we really have to trade Bouwmeester now? We could basically stand pat with this group, if we can move Stajan and Babchuk for nothing, and pick up a RW. Wonder what Parenteau would cost?

@Parallax

Tanguay-Cammellari-Iginla

Baertschi - Cervenka - ???

Glencross - Backlund - Comeau

Bouma - Jones - Jackman

Stajan

Bouwmeester-Wideman

Giordano-Butler

Brodie-Smith

Babchuk

Kipper Irving

This line up above, to me, doesn't get us any higher than 6th. And we are awful soft down the middle, outside Jones. To me, Comeau's a 4th line RW. If he's 3rd line RW, Moss and Stempniak are gone.

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#71 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 04:17PM
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Here is something I can't figure out. Flames still have a butt load of cap space and one spot to fill. A top 6 player. Why in the hell would we need to trade Bouwmeester? There isn't a single big contract that needs to be re-signed any time soon.

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#72 Kevin R
June 27 2012, 04:27PM
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@ JW: I guess it depends on what the cap hit counts on kids like Cerevenka & Baers but I get about 60 mill with the above. I like the signing & opens up options, seems expensive but I knew we would have to pay more to get either Wideman or Carle. For the right price I would certainly trade JBO, but he wont look so over paid after this free agency is done.

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#73 Emir
June 27 2012, 04:30PM
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@xis10ce

I agree. The move does give the free agents more direction as to what the flames are doing going into the next season. Gives them a better shot at getting some decent free agent to fill in for the top 6. I can accept that notion is worth a 5th rounder. Hearing Jay say we need to get that pick back made me laugh.

On another note, looking at all the line combos is funny. I think these players can wind up anywhere up and down the list. Except stajan and iginla. Those two arent moving. Especially Stajan. lol.

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#74 T&A4Flames
June 27 2012, 04:47PM
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Stajan will go to a cap floor team for a 5th rounder- BOOK IT.

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#75 DieHard
June 27 2012, 04:50PM
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Parallex wrote:

@Kent

"$5M+ over 5 years though? That makes me nervous as hell."

5 years is kind of stinky but 5.25M isn't all that much really. Assuming that the Cap stays at it's current number post-CBA negotiations 7.5% of the Cap for a top 4 D-man isn't unreasonable.

So what you're saying is 30% of the cap on 4 top defensemen is OK?

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#76 MC Hockey
June 27 2012, 05:01PM
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Yes, time to recalibrate is what I was thinking too. The salary cap is 70.4M for next year (tentatively) so Wideman's 5.25M is only 7.4% of the cap for a strong player. In other words "No worries mate"

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#77 suba steve
June 27 2012, 05:02PM
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DieHard

Capgeek has them at 30% of the cap on 7 D-men (JBo, Wideman, Gio, Babs, Buts, Smith, Brodie). Is that OK?

21216666/70200000=30.22%

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#78 MC Hockey
June 27 2012, 05:03PM
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@ xsice: I also agree. Flames need to have a top 4 right-handed shooting D-man and have him and his early signing makes the Flames look attractive. Parise! Parise! (more like Doan! Doan!)

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#79 Vowswithin
June 27 2012, 05:08PM
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So we now know it includes a NMC yay...

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#80 DieHard
June 27 2012, 05:17PM
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suba steve wrote:

DieHard

Capgeek has them at 30% of the cap on 7 D-men (JBo, Wideman, Gio, Babs, Buts, Smith, Brodie). Is that OK?

21216666/70200000=30.22%

30% for 7 D is OK. Seems a little steep for 4 though is all I was saying.

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#81 Colin
June 27 2012, 06:30PM
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It's a lot easier to find competent forwards to play on your 4th line for minimum to less than 1m. It's a lot harder to find/retain/sign good defenders. 30% is okay to spend on your defence, as well we are spending close to 10% on goaltending, so that leaves 60% on forwards which seems like a decent enough mix. There is no one magic formula for what you should bee spending, just gotta fix and fill holes, and a top 4 d man was a need and a hole. It got fixed and we still have cap room to fill another hole/need in the top 6.

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#82 Artax
June 27 2012, 07:01PM
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Could you imagine how many retaliatory penalties we'd take with Glencross and Doan on the same line? that'd be great. Doan's got a dark side to him.

If we aren't going to bring back Stempniak, were really gonna need a right winger, people say were weak on down the middle...how about the right wing.

Maybe take a chance on Jagr for Jokkinen and a 1st/2nd round pick. Just for a 1 year deal.

I hope Baertschi can step it up this year and play with Cammy and Iggy on the 1st line. I think Tanguay - Cervenka - Driver X(Jagr) would be fun. And the bottom guys can comprise all the Jones/backlund/Comeau/Jackman/Bouma/Aliu.

I think the Flames will either move Boumeester/Babchuck. I'd like to see a spot made for Wilson myself.

Defence I'd have Wideman - Bou, Gio-Wilson/Brodie, Butler - Wilson/Butler.

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#83 SmellOfVictory
June 27 2012, 07:44PM
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To quote myself when I read the AAV on that contract: "WHAT the F***? J**** f***ing C****."

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#84 clyde
June 27 2012, 10:11PM
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Pittsburgh is one very good d man away and have cleared cap space. If they do not get anyone, J-Bo for some nice pieces may be an option starting with Despres and Kennedy and perhaps a draft choice . J-Bo would give the Penguins what they need and we would do well too.

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