Tag: Dennis Wideman


Calgary Flames ’15-16 Outlook


For the most part, there should be optimism in Cowtown.

After a great ’14-15 campaign in which they exceeded all expectations, the Flames had themselves an equally successful summer. GM Brad Treliving struck the perfect chord of adding to his upstart team without sacrificing youth or prospects; Dougie Hamilton came aboard at the expense of three draft picks while Michael Frolik joined in free agency, much like Karri Ramo, who was brought back to recreate last year’s successful goalie tandem with Jonas Hiller.

The Flames didn’t lose much, either.

Spare veteran parts like Raphael Diaz, David Schlemko and Brian McGrattan walked in free agency, and with good reason; the postseason emergence of youngsters like Micheal Ferland, Sam Bennett and Tyler Wotherspoon made the older guys expendable.

The real excitement in Calgary, though, is the prospect of putting everything together. Up front, the dynamic trio of Johnny Gaudreau-Sean Monahan-Jiri Hudler will be back for another go-round, only this time they’ll have depth behind them: Frolik, a full season of Bennett, a full season of Mikael Backlund (remember, he missed 30 games last season) and a real wildcard in Ferland, who showed flashes of being a havoc-wreaking power forward in the playoffs.

On defense? Imagine if that all comes together too. Adding Hamilton, getting Giordano back, building off the excellent playoffs from T.J. Brodie, Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell — the Flames could have one of the better bluelines in the Western Conference.

So yes, Calgary certainly has momentum heading into ’15-16, but momentum can be a fickle thing. Especially when you’re trying to carry it from one year to the next.

What the Flames won’t have going for them is the element of surprise. It’s fair to say they snuck up on some few opponents last year, especially during their 17-8-2 start, but that’s unlikely to happen again. They’re a tough out, and the rest of the NHL now knows it. Upon being introduced to the Calgary media in July, Frolik, the former Winnipeg Jet, acknowledged part of his reason for signing in Calgary was recognizing how good the team was — and will be.

“With me and Dougie, I think that [expectations are] just going to be higher and higher,” he explained, per the Herald. “With what the guys did last year, the goal is for sure to make the playoffs.”

Calgary will also likely need to improve on its puck possession and shot-based metrics — we touched on that earlier today — but those improvements have a good chance of happening thanks to the new roster additions, and the maturation of incumbent youngsters.

Put it all together, and it’s easy to see why the organization’s already thinking about another boisterous postseason in front of the Sea of Red.

“Players want to be in a good situation, they want to have a chance to win,” Treliving said. “In the playoffs, seeing the atmosphere in the building, seeing this city come alive, seeing the support and the passion that our fans have, makes players excited.”

Big decisions remain for Flames as Treliving shifts to re-signings

Mark Giordano

The Calgary Flames’ eventful summer is no where near its conclusion and the decisions they make in the coming weeks could change the look of this franchise is big ways.

Now that the trade and unrestricted free agent markets have settled down, the Flames can shift their focus to internal roster matters and easily the highlight of them is defenseman Mark Giordano’s contract situation. He’s the captain, a workhorse, and if not for the biceps injury he suffered in February, he would perhaps be the reigning Norris Trophy winner as well.

His impact on this team is substantial and with just a year remaining on his contract, re-signing him this summer was previously listed as the team’s number one priority. But since then a report surfaced that the 31-year-old blueliner was seeking $9 million annually and the Flames acquired 22-year-old Dougie Hamilton and inked him to a six-year, $34.5 million deal.

While a strong addition, it’s intensified the questions about how Calgary will handle its cap situation beyond the 2015-16 campaign. If they re-sign Giordano, would they trade Dennis Wideman ($5.25 million annually) before his contract expires in 2017 to make room? Will it impact their ability to re-sign Jiri Hudler, who has a season left on his contract, in addition to giving Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau the big raises they’re likely going to justifiably demand next summer?

It makes their comparatively smaller, current RFA talks with Lance Bouma, Paul Byron, and Josh Jooris higher stakes as every dollar saved on potential multi-year contracts there is one they’ll still have for the bigger summer on the horizon. All three of them filed for arbitration, but can re-sign before their hearings.

It will also likely impact the Flames decisions when it comes to signing any of the remaining UFAs to multi-year deals.

Or as Flames GM Brad Treliving put it to the Calgary Sun: “You’re constantly monitoring the market, but from a priority standpoint, it’s time to get our house in order with our own people.”

Hamilton signs six-year deal with Flames

Dougie Hamilton

From TSN’s Darren Dreger:

The Flames have since confirmed it.

It probably won’t make Bruins fans too happy that Hamilton will sign with the Flames for a cap hit that in no way can be considered excessive. The 22-year-old had 42 points last season, 23rd most among NHL defensemen. On top of that, he’s still developing.

The news also supports the scuttlebutt that Hamilton, for whatever reason, did not want to remain in Boston. Though Bruins GM Don Sweeney denied the player asked out, he did say, “We extended Dougie a very significant contract offer, and it didn’t lead us to where we thought we’d be able to, with him being comfortable being a part of our group long-term.”

From Calgary’s perspective, Hamilton gives the Flames another capable defenseman. In fact, assuming they can sign captain Mark Giordano to an extension, they may, at some point, have to look at trading someone. Perhaps Dennis Wideman?


Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks

Dougie Hamilton

It’s official: the Calgary Flames have acquired defenseman Dougie Hamilton, sending the Boston Bruins these three draft picks (all in 2015):

  • 15th overall selection.
  • 45th pick.
  • 52nd pick.

The early reactions are that the Bruins didn’t get enough for Hamilton, even if their takeaway is a combination of draft choices and, essentially, cap relief.

As an RFA, Hamilton, 22, still needs a contract. That might not be much of an issue, though.

Even if the Flames trade a blueliner from their bloated mix – perhaps former Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman? – this is a stacked group. Calgary’s defense now includes Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Kris Russell, Wideman and now Hamilton. Few, if any, teams can approach that sort of depth.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie makes an interesting point: even if some are upset with the return, it might be more appropriate to compare it to what they’d have received in an offer-sheet situation.

This continues a run of Bruins trades that also included shipping Carl Soderberg to the Colorado Avalanche.

Hartley says Wideman ‘was very instrumental’ in the Flames’ success this season

Anaheim Ducks v Calgary Flames - Game Four
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Defenseman Dennis Wideman had a career year on the Calgary Flames blue line this season and was a big reason why the Flames qualified for the playoffs according to Bob Hartley.

Wideman set career best in goals (15) and assists (41) and carried a plus rating (plus-6) for the first time in three seasons.

He kicked it up a notch in the playoffs registering seven assists while averaging 26:29 in time on ice in 11 games.

“Without taking any credit away from any of our other players because they all deserve tons of credit, I don’t think that we would’ve made the playoffs with the Dennis Wideman from last year,” Hartley told The FAN 960 in Calgary. “(Wideman) was unbelievable. His fitness level was great. His leadership was tremendous. He was helping young players on our team and his play on the ice, I think it showed.”

The 32-year-old went from being a healthy scratch early in the season to being one of the most relied on defensemen in Calgary.

“Obviously there was a major turning point in Dennis’ play and Dennis’ attitude and Dennis the way that he approached the game,” Hartley said. “I’ve said it a few times this year, it’s pretty rare, it’s probably kind of an NHL record that a veteran gets scratched on Game 2 and by trading deadline he has an assistant captain letter on his jersey.

“That’s how much he changed, that’s how much he helped us.”

When captain Mark Giordano went down in February is when Hartley really felt Wideman’s presence.

“We turned basically to four defensemen to carry the load for the last two months of the season and (Wideman) was very instrumental in our success,” he said.

With two years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $5.25 million, Wideman could prove to be a good deal if he can remain among the club’s top four blue liners rather than a healthy scratch moving forward.

Related: Flames’ injuries revealed following second round exit