Kukla's Korner

All Things Flaming C

Flames Sign Studs…Yet Haters Hate.

Jay Feaster and his team of clandestine wiseguys have pulled off a couple major acquisitions in the past week. Dennis Wideman came aboard before the draft for a 5th rounder and a spare part (they needed a roster spot.) He was compensated with a $26M/ 5 year deal. I’m thinking his number would have been higher on the open market once one views the hype de resistance of the Ryan Suter deal. 13 years/$98M for a very good defenseman that tallied 46 points. There is another player that we’ve talked about that had 46 points last season. That player is Dennis Wideman.

  The haters were bellyaching that Calgary paid too much, committed too long, and basically are making the same mistakes that the Sutterites made in the days of yawn. In hindsight, it may appear that this was an astute play. He’s also slow-playing the whole Jay Bouwmeester trade potential as deftly as an adolescent sneaking in after hours. The market has gone way up for a puck-moving defenseman of Jay Bo’s ilk, and it appears there may be a few serious suitors for his services. While St.Louis was mentioned pre-draft, the other potentials will not be mentioned as gossip simply breeds more gossip. (Detroit).

Jiri Hudler was the other high level UFA the Flames signed. He comes in at 4 yr/$16M and was not overpaid by today’s standards. He had 25 goals, 25 apples and everyone in Cowtown knows he scored 23 even strength markers. Some GM’s even claim he is one of the top even strength players in the” Chell”. See: The GM that signed him may have made that claim. Today’s big name forward that signed was the diminutive Zac Parise. He also received a 13 yr/$98M gift from the Minnesota Wild (if you haven’t signed up for Twitter just yet.) He was able to muster 31 snipes and 38 passes for goals in 82 games, in arguably the biggest season of his career (his UFA season.). Congrats in advance to the Wild for the 13 year deals. We know that everyone is gets what they want with these long term marriages.

The stats that the Wild signed look like this…161 games, 38 goals, 77 assists (115 points) and plus 10. Calgary signed, to little fanfare, 163 games, 36 goals, 60 assists (96 points) and a plus 2. The dollars work out to $15 million a season to $9.5 M a season. Those are averages of the 4 players involved. Doesn’t seem like such a bad couple signings after all does it?

Feel the crimson tide,

Scooter Trefilov

@Scootermario on Twitter.

Filed in: | All Things Flaming C | Permalink



You’re crazy. Matt D’Agostini scored 4 fewer points in 2010- ‘11 and earned a contract that was 2 years $1.65/yr.

You’ve drank the kool-aid. Wideman is a defensive liability that will cause problems if not partnered with someone who will bail him out…

Posted by Eggs on 07/05/12 at 01:14 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

...Ryan Suter deal. 13 years/$98M for a very good defenseman that tallied 46 points. There is another player that we’ve talked about that had 46 points last season. That player is Dennis Wideman.

Suter is more of a well-rounded player, bordering on being a “defensive” defenseman.  The numbers he put up are secondary to his defensive steadiness.  Wideman is an offensively gifted defensive liability.  The same can be said about Hudler and Parise.  One of them is very responsible on both ends, has a good work ethic, and was captain material on a Stanley Cup Finalist… and the other doesn’t get back very well defensively, is a mediocre skater at best, and plays small.  And I’m one of the few Detroit fans that actually liked Hudler.

He was able to muster up 31 snipes and 38 passes for goals in 82 games, in arguably the biggest season of his career.

Arguably the best season of his career in what way?  In the 08 season he scored 45 goals, 94 points.  In 09 he scored 38 goals and had 82 points.  If memory serves, he started pretty slow this year, recovering from the knee injury and trying to find a role on a team with a better LW slotted above him.

Finally… Of the four players you’re comparing, two of them left teams that wanted to retain them and were saddened they didn’t even get a chance to match the offers.  One of them was traded and one didn’t even get an offer from his team before free agency hit.  That ought to tell you something, though I suppose the frustration of being a Calgary homer has to be sanity altering on some level.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/05/12 at 01:35 AM ET


Jiri Hudler is not a stud.  Sorry, he just isn’t.

Posted by Garth on 07/05/12 at 01:40 AM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

Why is this so hard to read? 

I think Wideman is much better than people think, but Hudler isn’t in the same world as Parise.

Stats don’t mean much.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 07/05/12 at 01:57 AM ET


We Wings fans loved our little midget pimp, firstly because he was our little midget pimp. But he was what he was, a small, slow, defensively challenged sniper. There’s no question he benefited greatly by playing with Hank and Val which is something he’ll miss in CGY. On the other side he’ll definitely pick up some goals with the added PP time but Feaster is clueless if he thinks Huds can play in every situation. Play to his strengths and youll be happy with him, play him on the PK or against another teams top line and youll be disappointed

Posted by HankValGus from Singapore on 07/05/12 at 03:38 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Haters hate

Calgarians are gonna hate missing the playoffs again.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 07/05/12 at 03:55 AM ET


The question has never been whether or not Calgary signs players or spends money.  They’ve done both repeatedly over the past 5-10 years under their current regime.

The problem has come when the players they’ve signed and the money they’ve spent actually shows up on the ice.

Then, disaster.

Right now Calgary’s top 6 is Iginla, Cammalleri, Hudler, Cervenka, Tanguay, Stajan.
Their top 4 dmen are Bouwmeester, Wideman, Giordano and Babchuck.

Bask in the glow of a couple signings all you want, I guess… but beware the actual start of the season.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/05/12 at 07:08 AM ET


We Wings fans loved our little midget pimp, firstly because he was our little midget pimp.

Part of that was he gave us two quite good years.  Problem?  They were contract years, so giving him a four-year contract is exactly the wrongest thing to do.

Posted by Garth on 07/05/12 at 09:22 AM ET

pensfan29's avatar

Signed studs? Was I in a coma?

Posted by pensfan29 on 07/05/12 at 10:50 AM ET


What you just wrote is one of the most insanely idiotic things that I’ve ever read. At no point in your rambling incoherent post was there anything close to a rational thought. Everyone reading this is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul

Posted by eric from baltimore on 07/05/12 at 11:27 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Hudler is a good player. He’s not a stud. He’s just maybe worth $4 million AAV, but that seems a little high. I have doubts that he’ll be as effective outside of Detroit where he was able to be limited to roughly 12 minutes per game to hide his skating and lack of defensive awareness.

Don’t get me wrong, Hudler did a heck of a lot to improve his skating and did learn to work hard. The Flames aren’t getting a loafer. Just, he simply doesn’t have the foot speed or the defensive mind to be a “stud” that can effectively play 16+ minutes per game, IMO.

I hope I’m wrong. It would be nice to see him slot in on the second line, play 16+ minutes per game, and score 70 points.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/05/12 at 11:38 AM ET

Dakkster's avatar


Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 07/05/12 at 11:46 AM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Shanetx hit it on the nose. Wings fans know hudler has serious limitations, i think he’s worth 2million. He can’t skate, is not good defensively, played with good talent, is undersized and doesn’t shoot nearly enough. His shot is what is redeeming but never liked him. I was so happy when the flames overpaid for him because I didn’t want him on the wings and im not a flames fan. It’s not hate you hear, it’s laughter.

Shanetx is right on wideman too. Gifted offensively, not much you’re gonna get defensively. Feaster is gonna tank the flames.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/05/12 at 01:44 PM ET


Wideman’s not very good. He’s just a guy who can put point-shots on net (a triggerman, not quarterback) with reasonable size who makes an above-average first pass. Beyond that, he’s slow and fairly brainless in his own end. He’s a stud in the same way that Joe Corvo is a stud, which is to say he’s just a journeyman that does one or two things reasonably well and everything else poorly. He’s not even a Wisniewski. There’s a reason Washington couldn’t care less that he’s leaving.

Posted by larry from pitt on 07/05/12 at 03:33 PM ET


The thing that everyone always neglects to consider when bashing the flames moves is that we already have a team full of defensively minded players that perfectly compliment the offence we just picked up!

You can pair Wideman with either one of JayBo or Gio and they will cover for his defensive gaffs or when he jumps into the rush.  Everyone has been harping on the flames for not having enough offence from the back end and now that we have a PP quarterback and point producer, we are criticized because he has holes in his defensive game?  Gotta love it.

As for Hudler, I do agree that he is not a stud, or has not become one yet on a very deep Wings team.  He will play solid 2nd line right wing minutes and will be paired with either one of Glencross, Tanguay, or Cammi on the other wing, who are ALL defensively responsible.  For those that are going to scream and say that Tangs isn’t defensively sound, maybe try and watch a few Flames games and notice who is always on the 1st or 2nd PK unit.  We haven’t had more than one skilled offensive minded forward on our team, other than Tangs, for a very long time and have been getting criticized for this.  Now that we have added that second skilled winger, we are critisized because he isn’t totally defensive minded?!  Again, gotta love it.

Posted by Matt Heron from Canada on 07/05/12 at 03:46 PM ET


You can pair Wideman with either one of JayBo or Gio and they will cover for his defensive gaffs or when he jumps into the rush

Wideman is not Drew Doughty getting caught up ice trying to jump in the rush and needing a Rob Scuderi to cover for him. Wideman is not a risk-taker in terms of position. He’ll be standing somewhere conservative. He’s just bad from there because his decision making is barely professional. And he makes breakout passes to the other team a lot. There’s no covering for the first thing. If the team takes the puck to Wideman’s side, there’s nothing Bobby Orr could do to bail him out. With the second thing, I suppose you could only let Bouwmeester handle the puck, but, if you do, what the heck is Wideman being paid? His point shot? Jason Williams has a great one of those and only costs 500k.

Posted by larry from pitt on 07/05/12 at 04:43 PM ET


I am really starting to love the passion and attention to detail of the Red Wings fans. That’s not stretching the truth, btw.

Posted by Scooter Kelly from Medicine Hat on 07/07/12 at 12:35 PM ET


I guess these signings were OK for the Flames. Should the fans in Calgary be jumping for joy? Far from it. It’s just more mediocrity from a team that is the poster for “mediocre at best”.

This is a team that has been consistently [well over 50% of their games] been outworked up and down the ice. The top line of Iginla-Tanguay-insert name here has not been anywhere near what a top line in the NHL needs to be. A typical Flames fan never knew which team was going to show up on game day… the gaffers or the performers. The inconsistency was probably the most brutal in the league.

Are Wideman, Cervenka, and Hudler going to fix the fundamental problems in Calgary? Not a chance. Can Bob Hartley hope to bring back some passion and compete into their game night in and night out? Flames fans can only hope…. or more likely pray.

Probably their biggest issue is the fact that Iginla is being dominated by opposing teams players [he ranked 7th worst in the league for puck possession]. Bouwmeester scored near the bottom of the league in puck possession as well [10th worst in the league]. Their two “top players” were near the bottom of the league in puck possession. That should have alarm bells going off in Calgary - FIRE ALARMS. You can’t fix a broken engine by adding new shiny tires… sorry.

They stand by their mission of keeping Iginla until he retires as a Flame, and THAT will be the biggest reason why Calgary will not win a Cup in the next 6 years. Fundamentally, the Calgary Flames can make any changes they want, but until they realize that Iginla is no longer a top line player, they will struggle mightily.

Other big questions marks:

Can Bouwmeester improve his game at all? Will he even be a Flame this season?
Can Cervenka come into the NHL and provide consistent value for the Flames?
Will Iginla have another soft start to his season? Can he even hope to match his 30 goals this season?
Can Cammalleri find his game again and scoring touch?
What will Bob Hartley bring to the table to improve the Flames this year?
Can Wideman make an impact or will he slide into mediocrity like Bouwmeester?
Does Backlund have what it takes to become a bonafide NHL center that can score?
Will Sven Baertchi continue his improvement by earning a full-time roster spot?
If the Flames are below .500 at the All-Star break… do they finally blow this team up and start over?? Is there a plan for that if that is what needs to happen?

Should be an interesting year in Calgary.

Posted by LVB73 on 07/09/12 at 11:12 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Most Recent Blog Posts

About All Things Flaming C