The Anaheim Ducks have added some depth, signing Chris Wideman and Justin Kloos to one-year, two-way contracts. Both players will earn $700K at the NHL level according to John Hoven, though Wideman will earn considerably more at the minor league level. The team has also officially announced the one-way contract for Michael Del Zotto, which was reported earlier this month to be worth $750K.
Wideman, 29, will try to get his career back on track after it almost completely disappeared last season. Starting the year with the Ottawa Senators where he had played for several years, he ended up traded to the Edmonton Oilers in November, flipped to the Florida Panthers just eight days later, put on waivers after another week and sent down immediately. He would be traded again to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline, but ended up playing just three games for their AHL club. In all, he suited up 25 times at the NHL level and 19 in the AHL during a tumultuous year. The offensive-minded defenseman will have to rebuild his value with the San Diego Gulls and show that he can still compete and help a team reach the postseason.
Kloos, 25, is coming back to the Gulls after having done just that. The undrafted forward from the University of Minnesota was a key factor for San Diego after a trade brought him there in exchange for Pontus Aberg. He scored 15 points in 25 games down the stretch for the Gulls before adding another nine in the Calder Cup playoffs. The versatile forward will try to help San Diego get back there while also having his eye on a Ducks roster that might need help up front at some point. In two career games, Kloos has still yet to record his first NHL point.
Unlike the first two, Del Zotto has likely been brought back as depth for the NHL club. The Ducks had an obvious hole on the blueline with just four players signed to one-way contracts, and even if some of their young players take steps towards becoming full-time options the team will still need some veteran experience like Del Zotto. The 29-year old has seen just about everything in the NHL to this point, suiting up for the New York Rangers, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, Ducks and most recently the St. Louis Blues over a 608-game career. Once considered a premiere young offensive defenseman, he’ll now just try to hold on with a very inexpensive contract.