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.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 15w40

    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.

  • Parallex

    @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.

  • T&A4Flames

    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.

  • @ 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.

  • Parallex

    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.

  • ALL THE WAY IN

    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.

  • xis10ce

    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.

    • Emir

      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.

  • everton fc

    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.

  • jeremywilhelm

    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.

  • jeremywilhelm

    @ 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.

  • MC Hockey

    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”

  • MC Hockey

    @ 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!)

  • supra steve

    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.

  • 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.

  • SmellOfVictory

    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.