Rumors

Rumor Roundup: In search for defense, Oilers should target Dennis Wideman

Lyle Richardson
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Dennis Wideman (Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

Rumors

Rumor Roundup: In search for defense, Oilers should target Dennis Wideman

Lyle Richardson
By:

Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is expected to acquire much-needed depth for his D-corps this summer, and should cast his eye toward Calgary.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is expected to acquire some much-needed depth for his D-corps this summer. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman suggests Chiarelli should cast his eye south toward his club's rival in Calgary.

Appearing on Sportsnet 960 last Friday, Friedman wonders if the Flames and blueliner Dennis Wideman might be ready to part ways. He feels Wideman could get an opportunity for a fresh start with the Oilers.

Friedman points out Chiarelli acquired and later traded Wideman during his tenure as Boston Bruins GM. While the two clubs rarely make deals, he points out the Flames acquired Ladislav Smid from the Oilers a couple of years ago.

Several factors, however, work against a Wideman-to-Edmonton trade scenario. Though he only has a year remaining on his contract, it's a $5.25-million cap hit and $6 million in actual salary. He also carries a full no-movement clause and might not be keen to join the perennially rebuilding Oilers.

Wideman is also 33, has a lengthy injury history and is now at best a second-pairing defenseman. Chiarelli could have younger and more affordable options in mind.

The Edmonton Journal's David Staples believes the Oilers need an experienced, reliable NHL backup for starting goalie Cam Talbot. Of the netminders who could become unrestricted or restricted free agents this summer, Staples considers Annti Raanta of the New York Rangers and the Colorado Avalanche's Calvin Pickard as decent bets.

Of the two, Raanta seems most likely to be available. He'd also be an affordable signing for the Oilers. Given Pickard's a restricted free agent, the Oilers will have to give up an asset via trade to land him. That's assuming the Avalanche intend to part with him.

SHAW, LADD LIKELY TO BE LATEST VICTIMS OF HAWKS CAP CRUNCH

The Chicago Blackhawks will begin another summer carrying limited cap space for the following season. With over $66.9 million invested in 17 players for 2016-17, the Blackhawks face the possibility of losing another player in order to remain cap compliant.

Bonuses owed to Artemi Panarin will compound the problem. The Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson reports the 24-year-old will receive $850,000 for reaching 25 goals and 60 points and another $1.725 million for finishing among the NHL's top-10 scorers. Those bonuses will count against next season's salary cap payroll.

Sportsnet's Luke Fox speculates Andrew Shaw could become the latest Hawks cap casualty. Shaw, 24, will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. He's completing a two-year deal worth $2-million per season. If Shaw's asking price proves too expensive, Fox believes the Blackhawks could shop him this summer.

That limited cap space also prevents the Blackhawks from re-signing left winger Andrew Ladd, who was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets before the trade deadline. Unless GM Stan Bowman makes a significant cost-cutting trade, Shaw and Ladd could be on the move this summer.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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Rumor Roundup: In search for defense, Oilers should target Dennis Wideman