NHL Free Agency 2012: Dennis Wideman to the Calgary Flames

If only signing players with playoff experience actually made a team playoff contenders...

The word on the street is that Dennis Wideman, a popular choice for plan B for the Wild, has signed with the Calgary Flames after having his rights traded there today. The deal sends Jordan Hendry and a 5th rounder in next year's draft to the Washington Capitals, and the Flames give Wideman a 5 year, $5.2 million per year deal.

Now, take a big, deep breath, Wild fans. Wideman probably wasn't worth the $3.9 million cap hit he had on his last deal, and he certainly isn't worth the $5.2 million cap hit he now has. If nothing else, this furthers the belief that the Flames think they can spend their way to success, rather than drafting and developing like the rest of the league.

Wideman is an offensive d-man, something the Wild could use, but his signing with Calgary doesn't hurt them at all, and may actually improve the Wild's chances against the Flames next season. You know, in a "their defense just got softer" kind of way.

It also helps that the Flames drop themselves down to $13 million to spend with five players to sign, keeping them near the top of the league in spending, and near the bottom in results. Not that the schadenfreude should be this enjoyable, but it is.

Great signing for Wild fans in the silver lining, terrible signing for whoever lands Ryan Suter, as his price just went up significantly.

More defensive free agents tomorrow here at Hockey Wilderness.

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