After the press conferencintroducing Adam Oates as the new head coach of the Washington Capitals, the media were able to have a side session with GM George McPhee and the subject of today’s trade of the right of D Dennis Wideman was obviously a topic of discussion. Here are a few quotes from McPhee on the trade, how it went down, and the reason behind letting Wideman go.
On how it went down: “Calgary asked before the draft [about Wideman] if they could talk to him if we weren’t going to sign him. 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. We gave Calgary permission to talk to him and they were close to a deal at [last week’s NHL] draft and it would have been a fifth round pick at the draft. Then they called after the draft and said, ‘Listen, if we can get him done before July 1 [start of free agent period], we’ll give you a pick for next year’. So I said, ‘By all means.’ They were first class and it’s good for us and great for Dennis and it’s good for the Flames.”
On the player received from Calgary, Jordan Henry: “He’s going to be a free agent, but we have some interest in having him in the organization so we need to talk with him a little bit.
On why Wideman didn’t fit into the Caps plans: “It wasn’t clear but based on what we had to do in putting all the payroll models together it was going to be hard to keep him. He plays right and D and we have two other right defensemen in [Mike] Green and [John] Carlson that need new deals and need to play a lot. He did a great job for us. We traded for him to replace Mike, fill in for Mike when Mike was injured — and Mike was injured a lot the last couple of years — and he helped out. But we think Orlov is in a place now that he can play just as much.”
On if he thinks the Caps need to add a defenseman: “We think we’re in pretty good shape. Orlov can play and we like the Schilling kid. He played really well and should see games here [this season]. in my mid, we have seven with a possible eight.”
On if he’d had any negotiations with Wideman before Calgary called: “I didn’t want to negotiate with him if I wasn’t sure that we were going to be able to do it. I don’t want to mislead a player or the agent. So we told them we’re going to need som time and then when if got right down to it I didn’t think we were going to be able to do it.”
Per team press release:
Capitals Acquire a Fifth Round Draft Pick in the 2013 NHL Draft from the Calgary Flames for Defenseman Dennis Wideman
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have acquired a fifth-round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Draft and defenseman Jordan Henry from the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenseman Dennis Wideman, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
Henry, 26, collected 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and 97 penalty minutes in 68 games with Abbotsford and Chicago of the American Hockey League (AHL) last season.
Wideman recorded 46 points (11 goals, 35 assists) in 82 games with Washington last season. The Kitchener, Ontario, native was named to his first NHL All-Star Game last season and has tallied 251 points (67 goals, 184 assists) in 535 career NHL games with St. Louis, Boston, Florida and Washington.
Both players are set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.