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?