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.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.
Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.
Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.
With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.
Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.
In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.