Calgary, AB – Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman was a healthy scratch during the club’s recent games against the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres, and is expected to sit out against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. This will provide “fodder” for the trade rumors against the 33-year-old veteran blueliner.
Wideman is eligible next July for UFA. Since last season, he’s struggled against faster opponents while his playing time and production declined.
Prior to Wideman’s late-season suspension for hitting linesman Don Henderson, there was talk the Flames were shopping him before the trade deadline. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports the Flames also tried moving Wideman in the off-season.
Wideman’s $5.25-million cap hit and a full no-movement clause also make it difficult to trade him. However, there is a market among NHL teams for right-handed blueliners. A rival club could take a chance on him, though they could ask the Flames to pick up part of his remaining salary or take back a toxic contract in return.
As for what teams could be involved, things have been very quiet on that front making it difficult to predict. However the teams who have been furiously searching for defensive help remain the same, and those are Detroit Red Wings, the New York Rangers, and the Boston Bruins. It’s all speculation at this point but it seems likely these teams could be in play for a Wideman deal. No team is willing to absorb his $5.25-million contract. If the Flames did retain some of his salary, it might make him considerably more appealing. After all he only has one year left on his contract, which means the team acquiring him would be taking a very low-risk gamble on a proven veteran.