Dennis Wideman has been traded to and signed by the Calgary Flames four days before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Washington Capitals received a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft and AHL-level defenseman Jordan Henry in the trade.
Wideman's new contract is five years in length with a $5.25 million average annual salary. That's a bump from the approximately $3.94 million Wideman earned on his previous contract signed with the Boston Bruins back in 2008.
Wideman played the 2011-12 season with the Capitals after being acquired by the club at the 2011 trade deadline. In total, he played 96 regular season games and 14 playoff games in Washington, scoring 56 points in those games and giving the Caps a solid dose of offense from the blue line.
Despite the offensive production, Wideman often left much to be desired defensively. As noted by Japers' Rink:
As productive as he was offensively,there were times when Wideman appeared to be something of a liability in his own end... which is kind of the opposite of what you're going for at that position. His minus-8 rating was second-worst rating among Caps defensemen, a rating which at times reflected his poor - and sometimes downright head-scratching - decision-making with the puck.
Wideman's departure from the free agency market trims an already slim class. Filip Kuba, Matt Carle and (of course) Ryan Suter remain the top options on the UFA market for July 1.