Getty ImagesBOSTON -- Wade Redden walked into the Boston Bruins' locker room after their morning skate on Monday and ran into top prospects Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Darnell Nurse. The four were at TD Garden for a media availability ahead of the NHL Draft later this month and were hanging around the Bruins' locker room when Redden stopped, still in his gear, to chat them up.
It was 18 years ago that the 36-year old Redden was one of those prospects inside Joe Louis Arena during the 1995 Stanley Cup Final doing the same thing: meeting NHL players, talking to the media and hoping one day he'd be where he is today: in the NHL, having a chance to win a ring.
One year ago, that hope didn't seem like it would ever materialize again for Redden, who watched the Kings-Devils final after completing his second season with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. Redden and his $6.5 million salary were demoted in a salary cap-saving move by the New York Rangers before the 2010-11 season. He didn't complain. He didn't request a trade. He just came to the rink every day and played, but kept the hope that one day he would be back in the NHL.
"I think that's what I had in my head to motivate and push [me]," said Redden. "I knew I could come back and I wanted to get an opportunity. I don't think I ever would have predicted it, but definitely that's what you want to have in your mind."
"I went down to Hartford and had a positive experience there. I enjoyed the game down there, even though it was a tough situation. Once I got over that, I tried to approach the game the way I always have. And that's the way I've got to keep doing it."Read More »from Wade Redden waits his turn for Bruins, thankful for the chance