WIDEMAN LANDS BIG DEAL WITH FLAMES
After Ryan Suter, there is a small group of top-4 defenseman set to hit the open market on July 1 and the group continues to get smaller as the Calgary Flames traded for the rights of Washington Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman and have signed Wideman to a 5 year, $26.25 million contract. Wideman had 11 goals and 46 points last season. Wideman by the way was apart of the Capitals third pairing in their second round series against the Rangers.
With a thin market for top-4 defensemen, Wideman has done Matt Carle and Jason Garrison a favor (Both are better defensemen) as expectations are Garrison’s camp had already felt offers would be in excess of $5 million per season on July 1 and it won’t be a surprise if offers pushing $6 million per season come Garrison’s way who along with Philadelphia’s Matt Carle, are regarded as the No. 2 and No. 3 defensemen behind Suter set to become available on July 1.
If the Penguins lose out on Suter and want to get into the mix for these two, it’s going to cost them at least a Paul Martin type deal (5 years – $25 million) and likely more.
I believe Carle is the better defenseman but I hear many teams have Garrison rated as the No. 2 defenseman behind Suter.
SCOUTING REPORTS ON CARLE, GARRISON
(D) PHI Matt Carle – Age 27
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 205 lbs
2011-2012 Stats: 82 GP – 4 G – 34 A – 38 Pts – +4
2011-2012 Salary: $3.8 million
Suitors: PHI, NSH, MIN, COL, EDM, TB, CAR
: A solid two-way defenseman, Carle is good consolation prize for teams that miss out on Ryan Suter. Carle just entering his prime, led all Flyers defensemen in ice time, averaging 23:01 minutes per game. He’s a player who will help your transition game and get you 35 to 40 points. Defensively, Carle won’t provide much of a physical game, collecting 55 hits in 82 games but is sound defensively and is an avid shot blocker, leading the Flyers with 164 blocked shots. The Flyers are working to keep Carle but keep an eye on the Colorado Avalanche as there’s chatter Carle loves the Denver area as he went to college at University of Denver. Scouts I’ve spoken with this summer have felt Carle would be an excellent fit in the Penguins system but his asking price might be too much for the Penguins taste.
(D) Jason Garrison – Age 27
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 218 lbs
2011-2012 Stats: 77 GP – 16 G – 17 A – 33 Pts – +6
2011-2012 Salary $700,000
Suitors: MIN, FLA, STL, DAL, MON, DET, NSH, VAN, CAR
Arguably the best bargain in the NHL last season, making just $700,000 and he’s in line for a major pay rise. Garrison who had 16 goals last season, including 9 on the power play, has a booming shot from the point. Teams looking to improve their power play and transition game will be all over him. Defensively he has good size and has meshed well with elite type defensemen, being a very good fit with Brian Campbell last season. Garrison last season averaged 23:41 of ice time per game, including 2:34 on the penalty kill, which was second among Panther defensemen. Garrison was also second among Panther defensemen with 127 hits and 124 blocked shots. Garrison’s campÂ is said to be shooting for at least a five year, $27-$28 million deal from the Panthers. ThereÂ are some concerns that he’s a one year wonder as he’s played just two full NHL seasons but teams will be willing to throw big money at him.