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Wideman dealt to Flames

Associated Press / June 28, 2012
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The Washington Capitals traded All-Star defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Calgary Flames for a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft and minor league defenseman Jordan Henry. Wideman had 11 goals and 35 assists in 82 games for Washington last season.

He was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but agreed to a five-year, $26.25 million contract with Calgary Wednesday. The former Bruin played three full seasons and parts of another for Boston, logging 256 games in the Black and Gold from 2006-07 through 2009-10.

Henry had two goals, nine assists and 97 penalty minutes in 68 games in the AHL last season. He also can enter free agency.

Labor talks may go on

The NHL season could start without a new labor agreement if both sides agree to continue talks beyond the Sept. 15 expiration of the current deal.

NHL players association executive director Don Fehr said Wednesday ‘‘the players haven’t considered what they would do on Sept. 15 or any other date if no agreement is in place.’’

If there is no agreement by the expiration date, work could go on under the old pact if management and players agree to that, Fehr said. The regular season is scheduled to start on Oct. 11.

Caps introduce Oates

Newly hired Capitals head coach Adam Oates said the team is committed to the finer details of hockey.

‘‘I don’t see any reason to change that,’’ Oates said. ‘‘I really feel the game today is territory. You have to establish territory and protect it.’’

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis fondly recalled Oates, who played for the Capitals from 1996-2002, teaching the new owner about hockey.

Years later, when Oates returned to Washington as a Tampa Bay Lightning assistant, Leonsis, McPhee and Oates spoke for a while before Oates departed.

‘‘I remember saying to [Capitals general manager George McPhee], ‘He’s a really smart guy, isn’t he?’’’ Leonsis said. ‘‘And he said, ‘He’s the smartest player I’ve been around.’’’

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, a product of McPhee’s drafting, called Oates on Tuesday.

‘‘It meant a lot,’’ Oates said. ‘‘He was very excited on the phone, and I was very excited.

‘‘My favorite quality about the man is he obviously is very enthusiastic when he scores, but when you watch other guys score, he is just as enthusiastic.’’

Oilers name Krueger

The Edmonton Oilers promoted assistant Ralph Krueger to head coach. Krueger spent the last two seasons as an assistant under Tom Renney, whose contract was not renewed after the Oilers finished 29th in the NHL last season at 32-40-10. ‘‘It’s been a natural, healthy 23 years of growth as a coach and I’m ready for this situation,’’ Krueger said. The Oilers gave a three-year contract to the 52-year-old, who played and coached in Europe and was coach of the Swiss national team from 1997-2010. He coached the Swiss team in 12 world championships and three Olympics.

Hitchcock extended

The St. Louis Blues and coach Ken Hitchcock, who led the team to its first playoff series win in a decade last season, have agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season with a mutual option for 2014-15. Hitchcock, 60, won the Jack Adams Award after producing the franchise’s first 100-point season since 2001 and its first postseason series win since 2002 . . . Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller says he will experiment this preseason with putting brothers Jordan and Eric Staal on the ice together. Muller said he wants to give the Staals a chance to play on the same line ‘‘and see if there’s chemistry.’’ The team’s top priority this offseason was finding an elite forward to complement Eric Staal. Carolina acquired Jordan Staal from Pittsburgh last week. Both Staals are centers.

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