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

    @ 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!

  • AF

    Well, our top four now looks a lot better at the moment assuming we keep Bouwmeester which we might as well. I think he will rebound this year and perform better with an offensive minded coach.
    It’s refreshing to say that we actually have a #2 defenceman now although Butler performed admirably in that role he’s a #4 in my books.
    Wideman has put up some solid #s in the past and should give a boost to our PP.

  • thymebalm

    I came over here from calgarypuck hoping to find some educated hockey talk, but’s its all reactionary over here too.

    5th rounder for Wideman, who immediately makes the d-corps better.

    That’s easy.

    Contract length: he STILL won’t be veteran status (+35) after this contract. Just because he’s been around the league a long time doesn’t mean he’s old.

    $ amount: dictated by the market and totally reasonable considering past performance and output. Don’t forget that the cap is 70.2M this year.

    Wake up Flames fans! We just added and free agency hasn’t even started yet.

  • supra steve

    Another win for Feaster, imo. If the guy can somehow nail down a decent #1 C, then playoffs could be a possibility? Not sure if that is good, but it is what it is. I’m agreeing with the consensus that dealing JBo may not be prudent now?

  • AF

    Flames needed another top 4 defenceman, now they’ve got one. They didn’t give up a whole lot, so count me in favour of the signing. Sure, the term is quite long and the cap hit is substantial, but the Flames got a good defenceman for next to nothing whose a guy who should be able to quarterback the powerplay. Also, the Flames can now feel comfortable that Babchuk doesn’t have to play top 4 minutes anytime soon, because that would have been a disaster.

  • Emir

    Thanks for the info guys!

    I wasnt sure how to feel about the deal. I guess i’m not 100% sure. The money and length are open market in my mind. I dont think its a deal that i’m going to be excited over, i’m happy to have the player. I’ll reserve judgement later in the year.

    Now with 8 D men I don’t really see us trading one. Lots of JBo rumours but who knows. Id rather see him stay.

  • Emir

    With the cap raising this is the going rate now for free agents. We saw it last year. We will see it this year. Your either inactive or you pay the price.

    I don’t like the contract. But we weren’t signing a player like Wideman for less.

  • Emir

    And one thing i’ll say, i’m worried that his points will drop being here in calgary. Then the effigies and protests begin. So lets all have that in mind right now, expect 30-35 points.

  • BurningSensation

    This deal is awesome (we land a top 3 D-man for a 5th rnd pick and an expiring minorr league prospect).

    If J-Bo is in fact dealt away we can judge that trade when it happens and on it’s merits.

  • Wideman’s an okay top-4 option. He’s decent offensively and can keep his head above water at ES against top-6 guys, although it’s not like he excels defensively. More info on that today.

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

    Comeau deal is a good one though. Absolutely no complaints there.

  • Instead of being a sign that JBo WILL be traded, I think this is in fact a sign that Justin Schultz won’t be playing in Calgary next year. He starts poking around Edmonton and Vancouver, and all of a sudden the Flames (who were going after Schultz) trade for a different D-man and sign him immediately. I think Calgary is done as far as the Schultz sweepstakes… and the one for Parise, and Suter, and Bobby Ryan.

    I’d say if we could parlay a prospect and pick or a player into something useful, like say a top six forward, we might squeak into 8th place. Then get swept by LA or St Louis.

  • RKD

    I’m now hearing possible destinations for Jay-Bo include St. Louis and Detroit. I still believe it will be tough for Calgary to move Jay-Bo with that cap hit plus he has a NTC.

    Feaster sure likes 5 year deals, first Tanguay and now Wideman.

    It’s obvious the Flames are still in the same old philosophy of being competitive now as opposed to down the road. Wideman might help us squeak into eighth place.

    I’m more concerned about the forwards, Baertschi is still developing and Cervenka hasn’t played a lick in the NHL and Jokinen’s status remains unclear.

  • OptimusFlame



    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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.