The Calgary Flames have signed Dennis Wideman to a five-year, $26.25 million deal after acquiring the 29-year-old defenseman’s rights from the Washington Capitals for minor-leaguer Jordan Henry and a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft.
Wideman’s annual cap hit works out to $5.25 million.
For Flames GM Jay Feaster, the deal represents a fulfillment of his promise to make significant changes to a club that’s missed the playoffs three straight seasons.
“We have a lot of things we’re planning on doing,” Feaster said earlier this week.
“Trades are one of those things, and we’re going to continue to have conversations on the trade front. And free agency is another.”
Or, as it turns out, both.
Wideman is coming off a 46-point season with the Caps in which he averaged 23:54 of ice time per game. However, with Mike Green needing a new contract and 22-year-old John Carlson there to provide offense from the back end, Wideman’s salary demands apparently didn’t make sense for Washington to meet.
In a related story, the rest of the league now has one fewer UFA defenseman to bid on, good news for the likes of Ryan Suter, Jason Garrison and Matt Carle.
Then again, maybe Jay Bouwmeester’s available now?
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.