The Calgary Flames acquired the rights to UFA defenseman Dennis Wideman from the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenseman Jordan Henry and a 2013 5th round draft pic. The Flames wasted no time with Wideman as they also signed him to a 5 year, $26.25M contract ($5.25M cap hit).
This is a great move by Flames GM Jay Feaster. His team was weak on the defensive side so he addressed the problem by bringing in an all-star defenseman. He paid a very cheap price to get the exclusive rights to sign Wideman as there would be a handful of teams offering equivalent or larger contracts on July 1 when the free agent signing period begins.
Wideman is a very strong defenseman. This past season with Washington, Wideman scored 11 goals and added 35 assists for 46 total points, placing him tenth among all defenseman. Wideman also plays a strong game in his defensive zone while providing physical play. He will provide a huge boost to the Flames defense that also includes Jay Bouwmeester and Cory Sarich.
Wideman’s contract may set the standard for other UFA defensemen looking for deals. This year’s UFA crop of defenseman is rather very with Ryan Suter, Jason Garrison, Filip Kuba, Matt Carle, and Sheldon Souray among many, many others. Players who are above or around Wideman’s playing level will be asking for similar dollars to what Wideman signed for. This will cost team’s a good amount of money, which teams near the salary cap may not be able to afford. It will be very interesting to see how much money different defensemen will ask and sign for this upcoming summer.
More to Come..
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