Early on in Calgary Flames training camp, Jay Feaster pulled Dennis Wideman aside for a heart-to-heart chat at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"I love to watch you shoot the puck and keep shooting it," the general manager told the newest member of the Calgary defence corps. "We don't do it enough."

Wideman looked at his boss with a blank stare.

"You're kidding me," he asked. "With all these snipers here?"

Channelling the pain of long-suffering Flames fans, Feaster replied in the affirmative.

"I'm not kidding," the GM said. "In the past, our team would rather pass the puck into the goal than shoot the doggone thing into the net."

Shooting the doggone thing into the net just happens to be Wideman's specialty. Unlike several big-name Flames defenceman in recent times - Dion Phaneuf comes to mind - Wideman has an uncanny knack of unloading a heavy shot that actually hits the net.

The concept sounds so very simple in theory. But in practice? Not so much.

"He has that poise with the puck that kind of puts opponents to sleep," head coach Bob Hartley said Friday in the bowels of the Rogers Arena. "He makes the right decision. If he has the shot, he wants to shoot. If not, he always finds the open man.