Congratulations, New York Rangers fans: It appears you won't have defenseman Wade Redden(notes) to kick around anymore. Or to watch fumble the puck away at the blueline on the power play. Or to watch make a mockery of the NHL's salary-to-production ratio. Or be the symbolic pariah of the destructive aspects of Glen Sather's reign as general manager.
From Jesse Spector of The Blueshirts Blog, Redden and his $6.5 million cap hit will be placed on waivers today:
Glen Sather said it was a hockey decision, but the move gives the Blueshirts flexibility to go with the best possible roster out of training camp without having to worry too much about how to fit under the cap. "It's always difficult when you change someone's life like this," Sather said. "But in the end you have to do what's best for the team."
Sather said that Redden did not seem too surprised when he got the news, that "he'd seen the writing on the wall."
If (well, when) he clears, in 48 hours, Redden will either report to Connecticut's training camp (AHL) or choose another option -- Europe, retirement or something else.
Redden, 33, signed a six-year, $39 million contract with the Rangers as an unrestricted free agent from the Ottawa Senators in 2008. Larry Brooks of the New York Post labeled him at the time as "a reasonably dependable puck-moving defenseman who had a dreadful 2007-08 in Ottawa and has never been regarded as a game-changer over 11 seasons with the Senators."
By 2009, he was being called "atrocious" by bloggers like The Manic Ranger, even if he was just painfully underwhelming for his salary level; which is to say that, at the right price, he could help someone in this league. With the Rangers currently over the cap, his demise this preseason was predicted. Now it's just a matter of how Wade Redden will be a former New York Ranger.
Read those last four words again, Rangers faithful, and relish them.
- Glen Sather