Roster Update: Wideman, Comeau, Schultz, Ovechkin
(6/28/12) The Calgary Flames have acquired Washington Capitals defenseman Denis Wideman for prospect Jordan Henry and a 5th round draft pick in 2013. Wideman immediately signed a 5-year deal with CGY worth $26.25 million, which works out to $5.25 million per year. Wideman was one of the top sleepers of the 2011-12 season, posting 11 goals and 46 points in 82 games, although he cooled down the stretch. Henry is an AHL defender who had 31 points in 76 games last year.
Indirectly, what this move signifies is that the Capitals have high hopes for Mike Green and fourth year player John Carlson. While Green has been battling injuries for two straight seasons, but returned to play at the end of 2011-12 and into the playoffs, Carlson has been steadily improving and should continue to do so, especially now that he steps into the #2 offensive defenseman spot in Washington. And, should Green continue to falter, Carlson would suddenly become the Capitals' best offensive blueliner, making him a sleeper pick for 2012-13. Giordano and Bouwmeester are the Flames' other two fantasy-relevant D-men.
Also out of Calgary: the Flames haven't lost all in hope in Blake Comeau; the team signed the 2011-12 bust to a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. It's pretty much Comeau's last chance (with the Flames at least) who acquired him off waivers from the Islanders last year. Comeau scored 24 goals in 2010-11, but only 5 last year total.
In other Capitals news: Alex Ovechkin is excited about the offensive prospects under new head coach (and recent Hall of Fame inductee) Adam Oates. Ovechkin expects to be "turned loose" - something fantasy GMs have long been starved for.
Sounds like Jordan and Eric Staal will play on the same line and PP unit in Carolina, with Eric moving over to the wing. The combination has many fantasy GMs eager for draft day; there are high hopes for the duo, especially for Jordan - who has battled injuries for two straight years. Of course, as the team's two best players they could also easily be split onto separate lines. Line combinations can change shift-by-shift during the regular season, but they remain in suspended animation during the off-season.
Team's are scrambling for a chance to woo free agent defenseman, and University of Wisconsin star, Justin Scultz. He's been property of the Anaheim Ducks since he was drafted 43rd in 2008, but his tenure in the Ducks organization is set to expire on July 1st. Last year in 37 games he recorded 16 goals and 44 points.
UPDATE: Schultz has reportedly created his short list: VAN, TOR, NYR, OTT, EDM.
Finally, the SJ Sharks have re-signed three players: Wingels, Braun and Desjardins will all dawn the teal and black once again in 2012-13. Not a lot of fantasy relevance in this announcement, although Desjardins and Wingels both showed flashes at times last year in their rookie seasons.