Welcome Dennis Wideman to the trade rumor mill

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Off to a horrid start with losses in six of their last seven, the Flames are reportedly trying to shake things up.

At the center of the rumblings?

Veteran d-man Dennis Wideman.

Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Calgary GM Brad Treliving’s “working the phones hard” to snap his team out of its current funk. McKenzie and other pundits (like former Denver Post scribe Adrian Dater) have floated Wideman as the rumored trade candidate, largely due to Calgary’s surplus of defensemen and the fact that, at age 32, he’s one of the oldest guys on Calgary’s blueline.

Moving Wideman won’t be easy, though.

With two years left on his five-year, $26.25 million deal — a $5.25M cap hit — it’s a lot of money for a team to take on.

There’s also the issue of Wideman’s current market value.

While head coach Bob Hartley continuously went out of his way to praise Wideman last year (see here and here and here), it’s hard to ignore his bad possession metrics over the last two seasons, and the fact he turns 33 in March.

That said, Wideman brings offense to the table. Plenty of it.

Only three defensemen in the NHL scored more points than his 56 last year — Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and P.K. Subban. That’s some pretty elite company.

There’s also this, from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

Wideman’s played very well for [the Flames], one of the few who’s been above water during this ugly start.

“I’ve changed my opinion of him,” another GM said last week.

This could be enough for an offensively-challenged team to make a move.

Assuming, of course, it has the cap space.

Related: Down in Flames: Isles hand Calgary sixth loss in seven