Hey everyone, Mitch here. Rob was crazy enough to give me some admin control so I could publish my own posts. Once you get past the grammatical errors I think we’ll get along just fine. Today I’m going to profile Dennis Wideman.
Name: Dennis Wideman
Size: 6’0″, 200 lbs
Why the Canucks might want him: Wideman might be one of the more underrated UFA defencemen on the market come July 1st. He’s a big body with a good shot and can log big minutes. In Washington the past two seasons he was playing on average 23:16 per night. He’s a right handed shot and would be an upgrade from any forward the Canucks put on the point during the powerplay. He’s reached double digits in goals in four out of the last five seasons.
Why the Canucks might not want him: Affordability and availability. The market for defencemen isn’t that great this year in terms of players with Wideman’s skill set. While I think he’s underrated as a player and that there hasn’t been a lot said about him, I think the lack of defensive talent could drive his value up. Wideman was signed to a four year deal in 2008-2009 by the Bruins, his cap hit for those four years was $3,937,500. A team who’s hurting for defense, especially for offensive production might be willing to overpay him. Also, I think you have to take into account what the Canucks plan to do with Keith Ballard and Sami Salo. The return of Salo doesn’t effect this signing as much as the status of Keith Ballard does. If brought back Salo can fit nicely into the 5/6 slot and really bring some strength and stability to that pairing. However, I don’t see the Canucks making a pitch to someone they would end up paying roughly the same money Ballard is making (or more, depending on how much they value Widemans’ sevices) should Ballard remain on the team.
What I would do: If you’re able to clear the hurdles of dead weight contracts on defense (sorry, Keith) then signing Wideman might be worth around 3 years, $4.2-$4.6 per year. Of course if the Canucks end up signing Justin Schultz then Wideman could fall by the wayside.
X-Factor: Of all the tire pumping I just did to sell the readers on Dennis Wideman, the fact remains that he used to be a Bruin. And that sucks more than finding shit tucked between two slices of bread.
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UPDATE: Dennis Wideman was traded from Washington to Calgary today in exchange for Jordan Hendry and a 5th round pick in 2013. The Flames then signed Wideman for 5 years at $5.25 per year. I know that’s only a million or so off from what I valued him at, but that term is insane. 5 years? Didn’t they learn anything from Jay Bouwmeester? Probably not. Oh well, I guess we’ll get some activity on the trade front as Bouwmeester is probably on his way out of Calgary.