Wade Redden was put on waivers by the New York Rangers and sent to Hartford in the American Hockey League. After signing a Free Agent contract in the summer of 2008 with the Rangers, Redden has been but a shadow of himself and chastised by management and fans in New York. He will report to the Hartford Whalers of the , of course, to collect on 6.5 million dollars this season. There is still another 16.5 Million owed to him for following three seasons.
WHAT HAPPENED WADE? Is this really the end? Is this what money did to you? Is it the pressure of signing this HUMONGOUS CONTRACT with the Rangers? Is it something else? Only you can answer those questions. YOU HAD IT ALL!!! Good looking, talented, ALL CANADIAN young man who won the hearts of many hockey fans across Canada and beyond while playing for the Senators. It all seems like yesterday when we were together in Ottawa…
In 1995, I joined the Ottawa Senators as a Pro Scout. Within a few weeks, we made our first trade. Bryan Berard who was the “Sens” first overall pick in the 95 draft refused to come to Ottawa. The New York Islanders really liked Berard and they were lukewarm on a young draft pick of their own, selected 2nd overall in same draft, Wade Redden. It was the perfect trade for both teams. Other players were involved but they were the dominant players. A shy, raw kid from Western Canada, Wade came to Ottawa the following season. He immediately made an impression in his first camp and earned a job as a 19-year-old. It all fit like a glove. Wade was one of several other young players (Havlat, Hossa, Fisher, Phillips etc..). He was given responsibilities, played special teams and a regular shift. He was our “goto” defenseman at a very young age. He was reliable, seldom made mistakes with or without the puck. His passes were sharp and accurate. He was not a pro-active physical player but he competed. He was seldom beaten off the puck and his hockey sense and anticipation gave him an advantage when it came to winning battles. He stuck up for teammates when they were in trouble. He got into a few fights, although he didn’t win many, he earned the respect of the coaching staff and his teammates. He was instrumental in elevating the Senators to respectability. Wade was always a “plus” player and a leader on the team. Wade Redden was a role model for the young generation of hockey players and fans.
WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE, WADE? I watched you play over the last couple of seasons with the Rangers and you seem to have lost your passion for the game. The focus isn’t there, the extra effort is gone as well as your great instincts’. You cleared waivers, which is no surprise because of the size of your contract and the deep pockets of the Rangers who can afford to pay you this kind of money in the minors. You now find yourself in the minors and possibly facing a buy-out next spring. How you react to this situation will define you forever. Please don’t embarrass yourself any further by playing poorly. The AHL is strong enough to eat you up if you’re not ready to play, especially on defense. This situation must motivate you to find your game again. It’s unknown if you’ll get another chance to play for the Rangers because of “cap” issues but it’s up to you to decide whether you’ll just fade away and collect your money or play to earn a chance in the “show” again and finish your career on your own terms. I hope to see you in the NHL again and play like you can. It would make me and many hockey fans happy!