Four destinations for Dennis Wideman

Brad Treliving has accomplished a lot this summer, but the one thing left on the to-do list (aside from sign the wonder kids) is get some bad money off the roster. Specifically the blueline, where the bottom of the rotation is cluttered with expensive, aging NHLers Deryk Engelland, Dennis Wideman and Ladislav Smid. 

Smid might be destined for LTIR, but that still leaves Wideman and Engelland as the probable third pairing. That’s bad news: both are RH shots, neither is particularly fleet of foot and both tend to give up a lot of shots and scoring chances against. 

Engelland isn’t going anywhere with his deal (plus the team still seems to like him), but is it possible to trade Wideman? If the Flames agree to eat some salary, there might be a few teams willing to take the plunge: the Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders.

Top 4 Wideman Destinations

Edmonton Oilers

Yes, the Oilers recently paid a hefty price to add 24-year-old Adam Larsson. Nevertheless, their blueline is still lacking in RH defenders who can play on the PP. The rest of their backend includes:

  • Andrej Sekera (LD)
  • Adam Larsson (RD)
  • Oscar Klefbom (LD) 
  • Mark Fayne (RD)
  • Darnell Nurse (LD)
  • Brandon Davidson (LD) 
  • Griffin Reinhart (LD)

Of those guys, Sekera is the only player who hit 30 points last year. In fact, he’s the only Oilers defender who scored more than 20 points in 2015-16. Dennis Wideman’s near career worst 19 points in 51 games last season would have put him second on the Oil behind Sekera. Yuck. 

So as superfluous as Wideman seems on the Flames blueline, he might actually be of some use to the Oilers. The only problem is, Edmonton has a complicated cap situation thanks to Andrew Ference’s LTIR and the bonus money “owed” to guys like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Jesse Puljujarvi.  

New Jersey Devils

The other side of the Larsson/Hall deal is also in dire need of right handed defenders. Or defenders in general. As of right now, the Devils only have five established NHLers under contract: Andy Greene, Ben Lovejoy, John Moore, Jon Merrill and Damon Severson. Greene is only guy who averaged more than 20 minutes of ice last year and Severson scored a team high 21 points from the blueline.

New Jersey also has a lot of cap space (about $14M), so they would have no problem accepting Wideman’s contract, be it partial or whole. 

Carolina Hurricanes 

I bet you can’t name four of the Carolina Hurricanes defenders for the current NHL depth chart without looking them up. That’s because everyone outside of Ron Hainsay and Justin Faulk is young or unknown. 

Although many of the Canes kids are quality youngsters (Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Ryan Murphy), the club may want to buttress all that youth with an established veteran like Wideman – especially if he can be had at a discount. Like New Jersey, they also have more than enough cap space to make it work.

NY Islanders

Unlike the rest of the candidates, the Islanders have a set and solid depth chart: Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Harmonic, Thomas Hickey and Calvin de Haan. The problem? That’s where it stops. The other candidates are prospects Adam Pelech, Devon Toews and Ryan Pulock, but none of them may be ready for prime time. Wideman would also give the Islanders another RD for their second PP unit behind Boychuk. 

With north of $5M in cap space, NYI could also manage the Wideman contract pretty easily if Calgary agrees to eat part of it.  

Conclusion

The shallow UFA pool and general lack of offensively oriented right-handed defenders might work to the Flames’ advantage this summer. The only other similar options are James Wisniewski (31 years old, frequently injured), Dan Boyle (39 years old, probably retiring), Tyson Barrie (RFA would be very costly to acquire and sign) and Kevin Shattenkirk ($4.25M and very, very costly to acquire). 

If the Flames had to trade the whole $5.25M cap space, there’s almost no chance of moving Wideman. However, given some potential demand and the ability to cut his cap commitment in half, it’s at least possible that Treliving will find a taker for Wideman’s deal before the summer ends. 

  • StarIV

    Can wideman bring in more assets now, or at the deadline? Moving wideman now gives us some cap space. I think the favoured opinion around here would be to bring nak back. With the opened space, are there any good forwards to be had at 4 million or less?

  • OKG

    How embarrassing is it that the team likes Engelland? Feels like we’re falling back of the back with this defiance of analytics that is “rawr size” (Brouwer Engelland Bollig Kanzig Chiasson)

  • Parallex

    See here’s the thing… Edm has little to no cap space and the other teams on your list may have cap space but they’re also teams that may care more about the real $$ then about the cap space.

    Allow me to propose an additional landing spot… Toronto.

    1: They have cap space

    2: They have more money then god

    3: They have an unimpressive blueline

    4: They have a bunch of surplus pieces to send back if they won’t take on all the dollars.

    5: It’s close to home so Wideman may be more likely to waive.

    Just a thought.

    • wot96

      Without being too insulting to Dennis, I would take a 4th round draft pick if they didn’t want to give up actual players. Flames seem to do alright in the 4th round.

      As was pointed out elsewhere, having his salary off the roster in whole or in half is an asset in and of itself.

      • freethe flames

        I think Wides can get more than a 4th rounder. I agree the cap space could be used as an asset at this time.

        Kent suggests 4 destinations but does not suggest a return. I wonder if there is an analytical darling on each team that might be available?

        • wot96

          What he is worth depends on what another team is prepared to give the Flames. If the Flames keep part of his cap hit, he should be worth more.

          But other teams will also be concerned about his foot speed, his more restricted use as a power play specialist, the possibility that he will attract more penalties than he should, etc.

          Maybe it’s an asset with a conditional pick. But I really don’t think that the Flames should expect a big return for him at this point. Close to the deadline when injuries are mounting or to get a big RH shot, yeah, maybe the return is bigger. Right now, not so much IMO.

          • DoubleDIon

            It’s true that the return would be something at the TDL and nothing now, but the cap space is more useful now than it would be at the TDL. I’d rather have the cap space personally.

          • freethe flames

            That’s always the case in every trade. Any player is only worth as much as the other team is prepared to give. I totally agree that cap space at this time would almost as good as an asset. If somehow BT moved him without having to retain any salary I would be happy with a pick. If BT needs to eat salary then the pick needs to be higher than the 4th, I still think there is a hockey deal to be done but maybe it’s just wishful home team bias.

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    If we ever tried another trade with Edmonton, here are two options:

    Wideman at full cap hit for Pouliot
    or
    Wideman at $2m cap retained for Yak

    The first is a minor savings for the Flames and the Oilers get a RHS that can actually hit the net every once in awhile.

    The second option gets rid of Yak. They get Wideman for $750k more than they will pay Yak, and both contracts expre the end of the season.

    • DoubleDIon

      I’d just rather have the cap space actually. I’d do Pouliot, but I can’t see the Oilers doing that straight up. I’d take Yakupov, but only if they took the full cap hit.

  • DoubleDIon

    Wideman would be a good fit for Edmonton. I’d just like the cap space honestly. I’d even eat 1.5 million of it to move him. He’d be their best PP option by far. He’s good at that, but so redundant here with Giordano, Hamilton and Brodie.

    I’d love to turn that extra 3.75 million into Pirri, Nakladal and 1.5 million in flexibility going forward.

  • Wheels

    I think New Jersey makes the most sense. They lost Schlemko, a regular on the NJ PP, and were last in the league for goals for. Cory Schneider is already 30 years old. They really need to start making a push for the playoffs, so I think it would work for both teams.

  • Hockeyfan

    IF Wideman agreed NJ, TO, Car, or Bruins where we eat 1.5 to 2. If Edmonton, straight up for Yak. I just don’t see any trades happening with the “incident” still lingering. Tree has a tough one trading this penalty magnet.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      Everybody forget? Do you want a mediocre-skating-and-defending guy AND penalty-magnet on YOUR team!? That’s why he is still here in part at least! NJ likely wants Wideman with 2.5M retained and a 2nd rounder for their worst AHL prospect!!!

  • The Fall

    Why move him now?

    Tre has been robbing teams at the deadline. There is no one worth signing right now as far as UFA to any real term. Flames need the space next season and they’ll have it.

    Suck it up. Stick with him and Gio. Trade at the deadline. Call up Oliver for the last couple months.

  • GoFlamesGo

    Although i don’t like Widenman, I think the chance of getting rid of him is very very low. It’s probably easier to trade Engelland. He is younger, cheaper and played better last year. If we can trade him, the cap space issue will be much better.

  • The Fall

    Next season is all about showing promise and growth. Tre will have space and leverage to get a legit top 6 next summer. Add in a Tkachuck rookie season 2017 and Flames window is wide open to take the West.

  • KACaribou

    I have suggested on ON several times that Wideman might be the perfect fit for Edmonton and that Calgary would probably even eat half his salary. I got the s#it kicked out of me in replies. Not sure what we could get back in return from the Oil mind you.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      Can you imagine what the response would have been had you suggested trading Hall for Larsson? Fans would revolt over a trade like that. Hall would be worth way more than that.

      Er, um..
      Oh yeah, they made that trade and the fans are starting to like it. Some believe they won the trade. Just goes to show you the relative value of a winger over a d-man.

  • RKD

    Way too much money tied up in bottom feeding d-men, I hope brad Treliving can reignite mystery team x who seemed to have a deal to acquire Wideman before he got suspended. Heck I’d be happy to get a pick for Wideman at this point. Anything to make him go away.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Honestly Any $$$ saved off Wideman or the others whom will be FA Next year. Will or IS Most Likely going to go towards the re-signing or signing a #1 Goalie & Sam B Next year. The Only way they would Shift cap money now would be for Only now with a one year contract… Personally I’d Rather see the Flames Give him away for little than retain Any of his salary. Cheers!

    • Greg

      True. I could easily see the goalie situation unfolding as Elliot’s ask is in the $5M range, and/or the Flames try another upgrade and ink Bishop as a UFA in the $6M range. Assuming a $3M raise for Bennet as well, and the fact that the replacements for Wideman, Engelland, and Smid won’t be free, that doesn’t leave much room for further improvements. At least it’ll be allocated better.

  • TheoForever

    I like Wideman, he can score, is not that bad defensively as everyone is saying.
    Only problem is that he is expensive. Would be nice to see some youth in his place. Still, we could get some assets at the deadline. If we are not adding anymore players at this time, who cares about the cap space. Keep him and trade him at the end of the season.

  • supra steve

    Speaking of bad money:

    Brad Richards retired yesterday…how bad would it have been if the Flames had been successful in signing that turd of a contract in the summer of 2011? Would have changed the entire thrust of the team…no Monahan pick in 2013? Sometime the best deals are the ones you don’t make.

  • First Name Unidentified

    I think the biggest problem with Wideman moving forward would be his fear of the refs and not be able to p,ay his natural game. I think his carreer is done, sadly, only because he served us ok during his tenure here so far. Yes, waaaay overpaid, and hence i believe he will have no bid.

    Sucks for us for another year as someone like Nak walks. I’m sad.