Flames acquire, sign Wideman; re-sign Comeau

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.


  • jeremywilhelm

    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.

  • Vintage Flame

    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?

  • RKD

    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?

  • RexLibris

    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?

  • Parallex

    @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.

  • According to the press release, there’s no NMC/NTC. That doesn’t mean there isn’t one, but the Flames have been very transparent with these things in the recent past. If it’s not on the press release, it probably doesn’t exist.

    EDIT: I was mistaken, press releases generally don’t have anything but cap hit and one-way/two-way details.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    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

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    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.

  • jeremywilhelm

    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.

  • jeremywilhelm

    @ 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.

  • 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!

    • Derzie

      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.

  • Emperor Crayons

    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.