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Calgary Trades For Wideman And Sign Him

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have acquired and signed defenseman Dennis Wideman from Washington in exchange for Jordan Henry and a 5th round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Wideman, a native of Kitchener, Ontario, has played over 500 career games with 67 goals, 184 assists for 251 points over the course of seven NHL seasons with time spent in St. Louis, Boston, Florida and Washington. Last season with the Capitals, Wideman had his second best offensive season tallying 11 goals along with a team high 35 assists for 46 points in 82 games which tied him for third in team scoring and lead all blue-liners with the Capitals.

Contract terms: 5 year contract with an Average Annual Value of $5,250,000

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5,250,000 a year…... zoikes this market is going to be crazy. Hopefully this means suter and parise are both 9 or 10 million a year and only Detroit will be willing to pony the big contracts up for both. I mean I hope.

Posted by Adam from Detroit on 06/27/12 at 05:19 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Ouch. The price for every remaining defenseman just went up.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/27/12 at 05:22 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Yeah, that deal is a scary sign of things to come…

Quite outrageous.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/27/12 at 05:25 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

am I the only one who thinks that’s about dead-on for O-Dmen who can put up 40pnts?

Doesn’t change suter’s price.. doesn’t change Garrison’s (which would prob be .5 to 1mil lower because of no body of work and Campbell)

Good pick up for Calgary.  They got 15 in space left and I see under thsi article they signed Comeau, so minus that as well.  Like it

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 05:37 PM ET

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Contract terms: 5 year contract with an Average Annual Value of $5,250,000

Fu*k you, Calgary.

Posted by godblender on 06/27/12 at 05:41 PM ET

Primis's avatar

And they had to trade for his rights to do it, knowing he wouldn’t have signed after July 1st.

Posted by Primis on 06/27/12 at 05:43 PM ET

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Ugh. That’s going to bite them in the ass.


am I the only one who thinks that’s about dead-on for O-Dmen who can put up 40pnts?

Wideman’s not really an offensive d-man so much as a powerplay triggerman who belongs on the 3rd pairing at even strength on a good team. There’s a lot more MarcAndre Bergeron or Joe Corvo than Kimmo Timonen in him (in terms of situational effectiveness). Bergeron, for instance, was picked up off the scrap heap and paid next to nothing to produce at the same rate on special teams. If all you want is a 40 prod point-man (not QB, point-man) and don’t much care about how well he cleans up his own end, there are guys out there who you could get to come and play for less. They’re all worse than Wideman when it’s not special teams time, but Wideman’s no gem himself, so the difference in how bad you get burned would be negligible.

So no, I don’t think he’s worth that at all..

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/27/12 at 05:51 PM ET

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wow.  That puts suter in the 9 million range for sure.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/27/12 at 05:53 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

5.25mil for a D-man that cannot actually play defense? That’s nuts. He’s decent on the offensive side but he’s down right embarassing in his own end. Dude’s +/- is terrible. He has only three + seasons during his nine seasons in the NHL. He’s a -34 the last two seasons.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 06/27/12 at 05:55 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

You know, if you haven’t noticed, people seem to be paying crack prices for offense.  Last I checked, 40pnt d-men that can work their own zone too are usually number 1 dmen or at LEAST top pairing.  You see any going for under 6m?  Most got locked up a while back too before Ehrhoff and Jabow type deals.  (and the Bow’s fallen off as far as production, which is why they targetted Widemans points to begin with)

5.25 for a 40pnt dman with room to clean up his game isn’t bad at all.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 06:05 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

And you aren’t going to mention that 20+ of that - plus/minus came from Florida and the stellar D corp of B. “what’s D?” Campbell, Jovo-cop, Garrison (who thankfully panned out) and Wideman.. Also stunning top line forwards like Tomas Fleischmann, David Booth and the other Florida forward who’s been there forever.. what’s his name again?>  Then he went to the Defensive juggernaut Washington.

Now, the guy has issues defensively, but he’s got a +34 season 4 seasons ago.  I just think it’s crazy that people thought he’d get Ericsson money.  liability and nowhere near 50pnts ever in his career.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 06:16 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Not really! Who “wants’ to play in Calgary? Bad weather, Bad Team & Wideman was probably going to July 1st unless they overpaid which they did ...... VASTLY! he was on the Caps 3rd pairing against the Rangers in the Playoffs

Posted by Evilpens on 06/27/12 at 06:16 PM ET

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Last I checked, 40pnt d-men that can work their own zone too are usually number 1 dmen or at LEAST top pairing.

That’s the problem with your reasoning; Wideman’s not one of those. Heck, Wideman’s not even that strong in transition.

Wideman is a powerplay shooter (can’t be stressed enough that he’s not a pp quarterback) who’s fairly brutal in his own zone. Usually, those go for a Hell of a lot less than this.

Wideman’s not a healthy Mike Green (a guy who, while also brutal in his own end, gets around tremendously well, makes great breakout passes and is capable of creating a goal at any time). Wideman is a slow guy with decent size who can put a hard slapshot on net through traffic…and that’s pretty much it.

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/27/12 at 06:21 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Fair enough, all I’m saying is he wasn’t signing ANYWHERE for that.  Bottom line.  I’m trying to put it in perspective for them since the fact that he was 1 of 4 dmen mentioned in the FA market this year and 20+ teams looking for O-dmen.. come on.  He is what he is but to think he wasn’t going to get this kind of payday is naive.

Also doesn’t make Suter a 9mil player now, good possibility he was going in the 8-10 range anyhow because given there aren’t many deemed Superstar All-Around dmen in the league.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 06:28 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

ANYWHERE for less than that*

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 06:29 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Comparables:

http://capgeek.com/comparables.php?player=217

On first glance there are some far worse deals out there that have been struck in the past four years.  Given CGY’s needs and the fact that we haven’t seen this guy play in their system, it’s tough to blame them for paying what they did.  He was brought in to play under Boudreau and ended up playing in a much different system under Hunter, not sure I’m ready to flush this deal down the crapper nor write it off as the kick off to the most obnoxious set of defensive FA contracts in NHL history.

One thing is for sure, his contract looks nowhere near as obnoxious as Erhoff’s which was about this exact same time last year.

What’s more interesting to me about the timing of this is that last year Wisniewski and Ehrhoff got a GM like Ken Holland in panic mode and he proceeded to oversign his lone UFA defender as a result.  Shero did this with Martin and Michalek the previous summer when he scrambled to fill Gonchar and Eaton’s shoes on the opening day of FA.

It will be interesting to see what GM’s blink across the NHL between now and Sunday night.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 06:46 PM ET

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They apparently haven’t learned the Bouwmeester lesson, which is not at all surprising.

The lesson is that 40 point dmen in the East are not 40 point dmen in the West.  The West has better, deeper goaltending and more defensively minded teams.

So, like when Calgary spent a ton of dough on Bouwmeester thinking he was going to be a 40+ point guy and he turns out to never crack 30 in Calgary… well.

We are likely to see something similar with Wideman, and in 1-2 years people in Calgary will be scratching their heads going ‘why did we sign the guy so high, exactly?’

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/27/12 at 06:56 PM ET

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One thing is for sure, his contract looks nowhere near as obnoxious as Erhoff’s which was about this exact same time last year.

ehrhoff’s contract is bad, but he IS an all situations minute eater, which is something that can’t remotely be said of Wideman. It’s easier to find a guy who can put up 40 on a powerplay point for cheaper than Wideman than it is to find a guy who can play 26 minutes a night for cheaper than Ehrhoff. Heck, you could sign Jason Williams for league minimum and glue his ass to the bench when there’s no man advantage and get Wideman’s production back.

And that’s all Wideman did. Stood flatfooted at a point while backstrom worked the puck down low and hammered it at the net when Backstrom’s work created a lane and the puck came back high. Soon as Backstrom went down, Wideman’s production vanished completely.

Check out the poll results here and think about the kind of even strength play a 40 point D on the Wings would have to have to get majority 5s.
http://www.japersrink.com/2012/6/18/3093416/2011-12-rink-wrap-dennis-wideman



The lesson is that 40 point dmen in the East are not 40 point dmen in the West.

uh yeah, okay

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=641
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=123
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=3561

Way to base a fake league-wide trend on Calgary overestimating Jay Bouwmeester.

Hell Wisniewski isn’t worth his money either, but his per minute production didn’t suffer at all from switching conferences. And Ehrhoff’s didn’t go up.

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/27/12 at 07:15 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/27/12 at 03:53 PM ET

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 04:28 PM ET

To clarify, are the 8-10m figures you guys are mentioning related to cap hit or actual salary?

Top salaries for NHL d-men (Myers leads current salaries at 12m):
http://capgeek.com/leaders.php?type=SALARY&position=D&limit=25


Top cap hits for NHL d-men (Campbell’s deal from 1982 leads at 7.142):
http://capgeek.com/leaders.php?type=CAP_HIT&position=D&limit=25

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 07:15 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Larry, your latest comment was caught in our spam filter, but I fixed it and now posted.

Just in case you were wondering what happened.

You should really join KK, once a member you bypass the captcha when posting.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/27/12 at 07:26 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

1982????

7m seems to be about right… right now.  Based on ALL the relevant info, I’d expect Suter to get 8-10m ave cap hit.  Somewhere between Brian Campbell and Ovechkin cap hits.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 07:32 PM ET

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What’s more interesting to me about the timing of this is that last year Wisniewski and Ehrhoff got a GM like Ken Holland in panic mode and he proceeded to oversign his lone UFA defender as a result.

I think Holland gets bashed unfairly for the Ericcson contract.  The Wisniewski and Erhoff deals, were a factor in Hollands handling of Ericsson’s contract last year, but there was other important context as well.  That being the Rafalski’s unexpected retirement, and Salei’s departure. 

Ericcson and his agent had tremendous leverage in that negotiation.  There was a huge demand for defenseman heading into the free agent period last year.  And it would have been nearly impossible for the Wings to replace 1/2 of their playoff defenseman on July 1.

In a vacuum, removed from all other factors its easy to say Holland overpaid for Ericcson. But in the context of the other contracts at the time, and losing 2 other defensman, that was a very reasonable contract.  And they still left 5 million of cap space on the table, and are in no worse shape long term as a result.

Posted by jwad on 06/27/12 at 07:40 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

This is an awful deal that proves why Calgary has been a clueless and terrible franchise for quite a while.

Posted by cs6687 on 06/27/12 at 07:49 PM ET

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Hell Wisniewski isn’t worth his money either, but his per minute production didn’t suffer at all from switching conferences. And Ehrhoff’s didn’t go up.

Wisniewski spent all of one year in the East.  Which, surprise was his most productive season by far.  51 points in 75 games.  I have no idea how you think Wisniewski does anything but run contrary to your position.

Ehrhoff went from an elite offensive team in the West to a pretty rough offensive team in the East and didn’t see much of a drop when one considers his injury.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/27/12 at 09:28 PM ET

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Seriously how do GM’s like Feaster and Howson have jobs. Who in their right mind would sign Wideman to that contract? Everyone hates on Columbus for their stupid moves, at least they recognized the team was crap and started dismantling it. Calgary refuses to believe that they are terrible.

This contract does not mean Suter will get $9million a year.  Another jackass GM would have offered him that anyway. I dont believe this contract makes a difference. Wideman is not worth what he got, and Suter wont be worth what he gets.

Posted by JT from Pitt on 06/27/12 at 10:15 PM ET

perfection's avatar

jwad

I agree with you totally on this and also think that the fact Holland did NOT bother trying to trade and sign for either of the two guys mentioned is precisely because he wasn’t panicking. He knew the space we had and he knew Lids had no more than two seasons left and he knew that he was going to need money to rebuild on the fly. So he couldn’t go after one of the “top” d-men last year because they were all crap. People all over this board bitched about how Holland had “lost it”. And then when he didn’t overpay for any garbage at the deadline, the same people bitched. But now you’re all the same people clamoring for Parise and Suter? You don’t think Holland saw this coming!?

This year, while we will probably “overpay” for Suter (if we want to actually get him… strangers don’t tend to take hometown discounts unless its their last chance in the league or something), he’s at least worth overpaying because he’s an actual first pair dman. I bet you in 3 years Ericsson is BETTER than Wisniewski and that contract will look amazing! Especially if we sign an all-star or two with the money that piled up over the last year.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 06/27/12 at 10:26 PM ET

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As a Caps fan I fell off the chair when I saw this. Money isn’t that shocking since he was making 3.9 but the term is ridiculous. Fans will want him traded within a year. He had a terrific first half for us and then was awful from Feb on. He can be a decent #4 d man that contributes on the PP. Or he could be a guy you want to scratch most nights.

Posted by eric from baltimore on 06/27/12 at 10:44 PM ET

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Salei’s departure. 

Are you sure about that?  Salei signed with Lovamotiv on July 5th, five days after Ericsson was re-signed.

But in the context of the other contracts at the time, and losing 2 other defensman, that was a very reasonable contract.

No it isn’t.  The big name defensemen may have been overpaid but they were top-pairing, minutes-eating defensemen (Ehrhoff plyed 23 minutes a game and Wisniewski 24).  Ericsson was and still is a third-pairing defenseman.  His icetime was the second-lowest of all the defensemen that played regularly.

In the context of losing Rafalsi it’s even worse because they got a better defenseman who played regularly on the first pairing for a cap hit of nearly half a million less than Ericsson.

He doesn’t play big minutes, he doesn’t put up a lot of points (he had two fewer points than Kindl, though he played 14 more games and nearly three minutes per game more than Kindl), he hasn’t gotten appreciably better and is big but doesn’t use his size.

There’s no context in which his contract is reasonable, at this point.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 10:45 PM ET

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I agree with you totally on this and also think that the fact Holland did NOT bother trying to trade and sign for either of the two guys mentioned is precisely because he wasn’t panicking.

That’s some interesting revisionist history.

Buffalo traded for Ehrhoff’s rights on June 29th and signed him on the 30th.
Columbus trade for Wisniewski’s rights on the 29th and signed him before free agency opened on the 1st.

So yeah, I’m sure on the 28th Holland wasn’t panicking about anything, but when the two biggest names were taken off the market before free agency began you bet your ass he panicked and signed his #5/6 defenseman to an inflated contract.  Is it less than he might’ve gotten on the open market?  Maybe, I guess we’ll never know, but it’s definitely more than he was worth.

Then after he got his head on straight he signed another #5/6 defenseman to a contract that was actually appropriate for a third pairing defenseman, and a day later he got a steal on the Ian White signing.

Not only did he overpay for Ericsson but in doing so he delayed Brendan Smith’s arrival and who knows what the result might have been if Brendan Smith had spent the entire year in Detroit learning from the likes of Brad Stuart and a certain Perfect Human.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 10:58 PM ET

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There’s no context in which his contract is reasonable, at this point.

Posted by Garth on 06/27/12 at 08:45 PM ET

The wings were barely able to land 2 defenseman on July 1 last year.  You could ignore everything i said in my last post, and this should be context enough.

I’ll agree, they made a great signing with Ian White, but that wasnt a guarantee when Holland signed Ericsons extension.  But Commodore was the best they could do for a second Dman.  Who else was available that they could have had to replace Ericcson?  They had plenty of money available to go after someone else. 

Salei signing on July 5th is irrelevant.  It was known that he was not coming back prior to Ericcson getting his contract. 

Could Ericcson have had a better year, yeah sure. Ericcson hasn’t gotten better, i think thats unfair. Would the wings have been better this year if they let him walk, doubt it.

Posted by jwad on 06/27/12 at 11:11 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

1982????

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/27/12 at 05:32 PM ET

Bad joke. 

Signed at 8 years at a 7.1 rate back in 2008, Campbell’s contract was deemed to be the worst in the NHL next to fellow teammate (at the time), Huet.  These two contracts were at the heart of why Tallon was pushed out by Hawks brass and why he bailed them out when he took Campbell in a trade back to Florida.

That’s not to say that Campbell doesn’t have elite-level skills, it’s just that he came out during the summer of the Sabres purge when he, Brier, and Drury cashed in on mega deals that put them (at the time) in the top 10 for cap hits for their respective positions.  Tallon did a terrible job of juggling this deal with the upcoming extensions that his younger players warranted.


I’d expect Suter to get 8-10m ave cap hit.  Somewhere between Brian Campbell and Ovechkin cap hits.

Considering he’s heading into the prime of his career and his closest FA comparable over the last five years is Campbell from 08, this definitely seems realistic if he wants it all and the team that signs him is willing to allocate the space for it.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/27/12 at 11:50 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

I bet you in 3 years Ericsson is BETTER than Wisniewski and that contract will look amazing!
Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 06/27/12 at 08:26 PM ET

Be sure to remind me of this in 2015.

Right now, the idea of the Wings having Wisniewski’s right handed shot to compliment Suter’s left on the blueline this fall sounds much better than anything else the defensive free agent market has had to offer the past few years.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/28/12 at 12:01 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

He had a terrific first half for us and then was awful from Feb on. He can be a decent #4 d man that contributes on the PP. Or he could be a guy you want to scratch most nights.

Posted by eric from baltimore on 06/27/12 at 08:44 PM ET

Certainly not trying to get in the business of saying Wideman is or is not worth the money he got today, but I think this is a telling point with regards to what Feaster could be thinking. 

Sadly, I had Roman Hamrlik on my fantasy hockey team and it was right around February when he started getting nightly scratches from one, Dale Hunter.  The philosophy of the team really took a u-turn around this time transitioning from Bodreau to Hunter’s boring defensive-first play and it doesn’t surprise to read your comments.

I still think the verdict is out on Wideman depending on the kind of hockey Calgary is gonna play this fall; could be a solid signing for them or it could be a Hainsey-style bomb.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/28/12 at 12:14 AM ET

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Would the wings have been better this year if they let him walk, doubt it.

Would they have been worse if they let him walk?  Doubt it.

But as I said, both of us are speculating, and there is a lot to speculate about.  Would Kindl have been better if he had a more regular slot?  Would Smith be ready to slot into the top four this year after a season learning from some excellent vets.  Would Commodore have cemented a role on the team if he played more than 17 games?

Who else was available that they could have had to replace Ericcson?

They could’ve signed White a day earlier and brought Brendan Smith into the fold a year earlier.

The bottom line is that Ericsson nearly tripled his salary and more than tripled his cap hit and he did not earn it.  In 2010-11 he got 2 more points than he had in 2009-10 while playing 12 more games.  Then this year his production dropped by 4 points while playing five fewer games than 2010-11.

He hadn’t earned the raise when he got it and he hasn’t since played well enough to justify it.

Posted by Garth on 06/28/12 at 01:07 AM ET

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Wisniewski spent all of one year in the East.  Which, surprise was his most productive season by far.  51 points in 75 games.  I have no idea how you think Wisniewski does anything but run contrary to your position.

Ehrhoff went from an elite offensive team in the West to a pretty rough offensive team in the East and didn’t see much of a drop when one considers his injury.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/27/12 at 07:28 PM ET

In summary,

in an injury riddled season on the worst team in the league James Wisniewski’s per-minute production dropped 5% because the West is difficult for offensive d to score in.

and

in an injury riddled season on the 10th worst team in the league Christian Ehrhoff’s per-minute production dropped 40% because the East is easier for offensive d to score in.

this makes absolutely zero sense.

Posted by larry from pitt on 06/28/12 at 03:18 AM ET

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