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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Now in his fourth season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers and the Wrestling Observer.
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#2 Derzie
June 27 2012, 01:35PM
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Finally something that makes sense. A solid, under thirty, proven performer. We still need a boatload of change but this is a good one. Welcome Wideman.

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#3 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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#4 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 01:28PM
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Whelp, it's pricey. But the guy is not a sieve 5 on 5, and can put up some points. And has a history with Bouwmeester. I don't hate it, but I don't particulary like the length.

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#5 Justin Azevedo
June 27 2012, 01:31PM
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haha. oh my.

emir: kinda. henry wasn't really a prospect, and 5th rounders are nothing

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#6 Vintage Flame
June 27 2012, 01:38PM
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Not really surprised at the money they doled out to get Wideman but that 5 year term leaves me wondering a bit.

Is there any word on any NTC or NMC attached?

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#7 RKD
June 27 2012, 01:38PM
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I like the signing because it helps solidify the Flames defence corps, but if and only if Jay-Bo stays.

Does this signing mean the end of Jay-Bo's time in Calgary? My fear of this five year contract is that it could turn into a Cory Sarich situation. Who knows what Wideman will be in years 4 and 5 of the contract.

The money for Comeau is pretty low, which is pretty good.

with #4

Jay-Bo/Butler(yikes) Giordano/Wideman Brodie/Smith/Babchcuk(double yikes)

without #4

no number #1 d-man Gio/Wideman Brodie/Smith

Is Brodie ready to be elevated to higher pairing?

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#8 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 01:38PM
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Term is too long. But that is pretty much what you pay for a top 3 guy.

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#9 Emperor Crayons
June 27 2012, 01:41PM
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Afraid to ask but... can anyone confirm whether or not he has a NTC/NMC?

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#10 RexLibris
June 27 2012, 01:41PM
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I was just going to say that I suspect that the "term and money" issues will be the ones continually brought up in this deal.

I know we're talking two very different players, but the moment I heard this deal the words "Sheldon Souray" popped into my head.

Bouwmeester to St. Louis? Seems likely, but did Wideman pick Calgary because of his relationship with Bouwmeester? Then perhaps not?

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#11 Parallex
June 27 2012, 01:42PM
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@Emir

Sure... if you want to be pessimistic about it. You could just as easily say that we traded virtually nothing to get the guy that probably becomes the 3rd best defenseman on the team.

Anyhoo... that's a lotta scratch for a lotta years. Not sure I approve of the deal but we definetly needed help on the blueline and this is help. Bottom line is the team is better now then it was an hour ago so there's that.

Also means that we put the pie in the sky dreams away with regards to Suter.

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#13 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 01:43PM
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Wideman is a top 4 right handed Dman. Something severly lacking on this team for the last 5 years.

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#14 insvenwetrust
June 27 2012, 01:44PM
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I like this deal. simply because i doubt we could have signed him if he went to free agency. there is alot of competition. i expect to hear more from jay in the next few days

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#15 BCFLAME
June 27 2012, 01:45PM
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But it means we are missing our 2nd and 5th for next year's draft.

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#16 Vintage Flame
June 27 2012, 01:45PM
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I'd like this deal a lot if it meant it was Wideman and JBo as the top pairing.

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#17 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 01:47PM
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Again, I don't like the term, but I am surprised at how angry some people are....

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#18 schevvy
June 27 2012, 01:47PM
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You know, I'm a fan of the signing. Sure, the term is a little long, but it gives us something that lacks big time in our D, a right-hand shot. Wideman is no slouch, I'm not sure how great his corsi numbers are, but I know from watching him play in Washington he was useful on the PP and should help us there as well.

The Comeau deal is a good one, one year at a roughly half the price of his last deal. Good job Feaster.

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#19 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 01:47PM
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IF Bouwmeester is gone because of Wideman, I WILL be upset.

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#20 Parallex
June 27 2012, 01:50PM
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@Vintage Flame

Or Gio and JBo as the top pairing. I like Butler a lot more as the #4 D-man then as the #2 D-man.

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#21 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 01:54PM
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This moves Butler off the top pairing (thank goodness, good kid, over his head) and helps Gio on the back end move the puck out, Brodie gets to stay as a #5, which is good, and find a fill in #6.

The team is better, no matter how you swing it.

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#22 Ravage
June 27 2012, 02:01PM
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@ VF

Agree to a point. Wideman would add extra physical element that JBo lacks and is better at this point than Butler. Would work even better if JBo had his minutes cut back. See if Gio and Smith/Butler become 2nd pairing.

That would leave Smith/Butler with Brodie and I really don't want to see Babchuk and his contract sitting in the press box all season.

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#23 Casey
June 27 2012, 02:01PM
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Time for a little perspective. Remember when the salary cap was $50 million in 2007? Well this deal is $3.75M in 2007 dollars. Or roughly 7.5% of the team cap.

$5.25M with a $70M cap is 7.5% of the cap.

We all need to recalibrate our brains to the new cap number. $5.25M is not that unreasonable. Nobody would have been freaking out about $3.75M for Wideman 5 years ago!

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#24 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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#25 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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#26 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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#27 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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#28 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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#29 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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#30 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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#31 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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#32 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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#33 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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#34 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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#35 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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#36 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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#37 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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#38 James and Gary
June 27 2012, 01:28PM
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Oh The banter!

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#39 Emir
June 27 2012, 01:29PM
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Correct me if im wrong, but did we just give up assets to sign a free agent and pay him open market money?

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#40 Justin Azevedo
June 27 2012, 01:45PM
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if jbo goes because of this, there is literally no way this deal is not a straight up loss.

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#41 Justin Azevedo
June 27 2012, 01:47PM
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@jeremywilhelm

I'm angry about everything jw.

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#42 xis10ce
June 27 2012, 01:49PM
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Wideman/JayBo 1st pair, Gio/Butler 2nd pair. I can live with that assuming we don't unload Jay. Quick question, can anyone share what 'history' Wideman and JayBo have playing together? I don't see it...

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#43 vowswithin
June 27 2012, 01:50PM
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@BCFLAME

NO man it just means we are trading down our top ten pick for next year for #30 or so and picking up a 2nd rd and 5rd ;-)

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#45 schevvy
June 27 2012, 01:55PM
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@jeremywilhelm

Assuming Bouwmeester isn't dealt

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#46 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 01:56PM
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Babchuk will be saying goodbye, of that, there is no doubt. Smith, Wilson, and Carson are all replacement level. Easily Waived.

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#47 insvenwetrust
June 27 2012, 01:56PM
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BCFLAME wrote:

But it means we are missing our 2nd and 5th for next year's draft.

Yeah but feaster will just have to trade down twice next year or trade with the nyi lol

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#48 jeremywilhelm
June 27 2012, 01:57PM
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I highly doubt he will be....

I hope....

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#49 schevvy
June 27 2012, 02:01PM
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I think, assuming no other moves are made, the opening night d-man depth chart will look like this:

Bouwmeester- Giordano

Wideman- Butler

Smith - Brodie

Press box: Babchuk, Wilson

Waivers: Carson

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#50 Jibmeister
June 27 2012, 02:01PM
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TRADE BUTLER!!!

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