The Washington Capitals liked what Dennis Wideman did in filling in for Mike Green over the past season-plus, but with the defenseman becoming an unrestricted free agency it looked like he wasn’t going to be part of the future here.
So when the Calgary Flames showed interest in acquiring Wideman’s rights, general manager George McPhee gave Jay Feaster and Co. permission to talk to him. When they worked out a deal, the Caps officially traded Wideman’s rights to Calgary on Wednesday in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2013 and impending free agent defenseman Jordan Henry.
“Based on where we’re going and wanting [Dmitry] Orlov to play more this year and having cap space to do the right things, we weren’t going to be able to sign him,” McPhee said.
The Flames needed to unload a contract, which is where Henry came in. They gave the Caps the choice of four possible prospects, and Washington’s scouting staff opted for Henry.
He’ll likely go to market July 1 but the Caps have some time to talk to him and see if he fits into the mix with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.
McPhee said he felt comfortable with Orlov and the other defensemen in the organization to make up for Wideman’s departure. He specifically singled out Cameron Schilling, whom the Caps signed as a college free agent this past spring.
Wideman, 29, signed a five-year deal with the Flames worth $5.25 million a season. His last contract paid him an average of just under $4 million.