Whenever a team signs a risky contract, fans and media wonder how a GM might be able to wiggle out of a potential mistake. (Blame Glen Sahter’s handling of Wade Redden, I guess.) Whether the criticisms are fair or not, many probably hoped that the Calgary Flames have an “out” clause with Dennis Wideman’s new deal. That does not appear to be the case.
Pat Steinberg reports that Wideman’s five-year, $26.25 million contract includes a no-movement clause. That means the Flames don’t have the power to trade him whenever they’d like and they cannot bury his cap hit in the minors, Redden-style.
One can imagine a scenario where the team gets Wideman to waive his “NMC,” but if Dany Heatley taught us anything, that can be a sticky situation too.
The Flames aren’t shy about handing out these risky, binding clauses. As the team’s CapGeek page reveals, Jarome Iginla, Mike Cammalleri, Alex Tanguay, Matt Stajan, Curtis Glencross, Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, Anton Babchuk and Miikka Kiprusoff are players who currently have either a no-movement or no-trade clause.
The “bright” side is that Kipper’s clause is about to (or technically already has) expired while most of those other players “only” have modified or limited no-trade clauses. The dark side is that there’s clear evidence that this franchise is pretty open to painting itself into a corner.
Considering the fact that the Flames have been stuck in “not good enough to be contenders but not bad enough to get lottery picks” limbo for years, seeing Wideman’s deal cast in cement is more than a little bit troubling. One way or another, GM Jay Feaster is sticking to his word not to rebuild.
To some, that means the Flames will remain broken.
Tuesday’s Dallas Stars – New York Rangers almost seemed destined to be a wild affair, and so far, the two teams aren’t disappointing.
For one thing, Chris Kreider and the Rangers were open about “not forgetting” Cody Eakin‘s hit on Henrik Lundqvist, something Eakin realized heading in. The Stars had their own irritations coming into this game, as they clearly weren’t happy with their loss to the Buffalo Sabres and their shaky play overall.
So, yeah, plenty of reason for this to be a rowdy affair.
Kreider is delivering in particular, with the most memorable moment being his strange fight with Eakin, which you can see above. SBNation’s Pat Iversen points out that Kreider probably should have been ejected for hitting Eakin with a piece of his equipment, a violation of Rule 53.
As many know, Kreider has even more of a reputation for “interacting” with goalies, as he did once again with Antti Niemi:
The Stars currently lead the game 5-3, so it’s been a busy one on the scoreboard, too.
Down 2-0 to the Buffalo Sabres, the Toronto Maple Leafs are off to a shaky start on Tuesday. Still, their concerns likely revolve the most around the health of defenseman Morgan Rielly.
As you can see from the video above, the young Buds blueliner was shaken up by an awkward spill into the boards.
It’s too early to know if he avoided injury or might miss some time, but there’s at least some concern that he might have aggravated an issue from before his NHL days:
We’ll need to wait and see, but with his offensive skills and overall importance in mind (average just under 23 minutes a game this season, more or less in line with his breakthrough year in 2015-16), the Maple Leafs are crossing their fingers that this isn’t anything major.
The Chicago Blackhawks need to put a tough weekend behind them; maybe the Colorado Avalanche are just what the doctor ordered.
Colorado is clearly ranked last in the league, whether they believe they have some assets in the likes of Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog or not. Perhaps there will be a few scouts on hand to see how such potential Avs trade targets perform against a contending team?
It’s rarely a dull night when the Blackhawks roll out talented players like Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin and Jonathan Toews – among others – so it should be a good time on NBCSN on Tuesday.
You can watch online or via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream link.
Tyler Ennis‘ return to the Buffalo Sabres lineup on Monday after a 30-game absence seemed like a breath of fresh air. Tuesday, then, represents letting the air out of the balloon.
The Sabres announced that Ennis wasn’t out for warm-ups heading into tonight’s Sabres – Toronto Maple Leafs game. It certainly gives the impression that his groin injury isn’t fully healed.
Ennis contributed a goal to Buffalo’s 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Monday and nearly scored another in “lacrosse” style:
When healthy, he’s been a 20-goal, 40+ point player for Buffalo lately, so he was missed. The team tweeted out Ryan O'Reilly‘s comments about Ennis’ return mere hours ago, so you get the impression that it was a surprise for many:
Maybe it’s just a minor setback?
Update: The Sabres deem it a “precautionary scratch,” according to John Vogl of the Buffalo News. So maybe file this under minor setback. We’ll see.