The Calgary Flames acquired the free agent negotiating rights to defenseman Dennis Wideman and gave him a five-year deal worth $26.5 million.
Cha-ching! We all knew that pending free agents Ryan Suter and Matt Carle would cash in this summer, but this generous deal reaffirmed the high market for proven defensemen.
The signing served also fair warning to NHL general managers to lock in their key defensemen to long-term deals before they ever get to free agency. Their price only goes up.
As for the Flames, they will be glad to add the puck-rushing Wideman to their attack. He can generate offense, as he showed last season while scoring 34 points in 48 games before the All-Star break.
But Calgary is paying absolutely top dollar to so-so veteran commodities like Wideman, Mike Cammalleri ($ 6 million cap hit the next two seasons) and Jay Bouwmeester ($6.68 million cap hit the next two seasons.)
That could handcuff the team has it tries to make further upgrades to a team that fell flat last season.