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.