Calgary Flames beat free-agent rush with Wideman signed to 5-year, $26.25M pact
Dennis Wideman’s career can be described in numerous ways.
Lucrative, sure. Productive, yes. But also — hop-scotchy. A few years here. A few years there. No stay, however, was shorter than his first with the Calgary Flames, which lasted a matter of days.
It’s the summer of 2004.
Wideman has graduated from the London Knights after his overage campaign in the Ontario Hockey League. But the Buffalo Sabres, after picking him in the eighth round of the 2002 National Hockey League draft, has shown no interest in signing him.
So what’s a guy to do?
Well, for starters, happily attend the Flames’ summer camp. And if Wideman’s memories of Calgary are hazy, it’s understandable. Because before the camp even concluded, the St. Louis Blues had swooped in and signed the Kitchener, Ont., native — a development that kick-started his big-league career.
“That was a long time ago — I’m not even sure who was coach and GM (of the Flames) then,” he said, with a laugh. “Then, eventually, I got back.”
Officially, on Wednesday.
Bank on this visit lasting longer. Much longer.
The Flames acquired Wideman from the Washington Capitals and signed him to a five-year deal worth $26.25 million — not necessarily in that order.