We all know that Wade Redden’s contract is one of the biggest albatrosses in a long stream of bad contracts handed out by New York Rangers Glen Sather. As you may know, the team shipped him to the Hartford Wolf Pack (who will soon become the Connecticut Whale, actually) to clear up his enormous $6.5 million salary cap hit.
While it’s difficult to feel too bad for Redden considering the fact that he still has four years and $23 million left on that contract, it can often be all-too-easy to forget that he is a human being after all. Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant caught up with Redden, who at least said all the right things about his demotion to Hartford.
Who knows if this situation eventually will be remedied, but Redden called Hartford a logical place for him to be while it happens. He said he doesn’t want to be running around at this point, that going to Europe with a newborn wouldn’t be a smart thing.
“A lot has happened to him in his personal and professional life,” coach Ken Gernander said. “To this point he has handled it with top marks.”
Redden talked easily about playing in Hartford during his rookie NHL season, including one of his first games in the preseason. He talked about chatting the other day with longtime friend and former Whaler Brad McCrimmon, who stressed what a great place Hartford is. His young teammates seemed eager to accept him. As a couple of reporters spoke to Redden, Devin DiDiomete, Brodie Dupont and Ryan Garlock playfully surrounded them using a water bottle as a microphone, a stick as a boom mike and pretending to roll a camera.
“I’m coming with a good attitude,” Redden said. “Looking at my time in New York, things didn’t go the way I wanted them to. And I don’t think things were going to change. I sat down with Glen and he said the same thing.”
Redden said he wasn’t surprised to be waived, which means that he’s at least not in total denial.
With those four expensive years left, Redden will need to get used to the AHL since he seems disinterested in playing in Europe (he explained that going overseas would be difficult with his young children). If Michael Nylander’s travels serve as a road map, the best Redden could probably hope for is the chance to be “loaned” to a different minor league team.
Again, it’s hard to empathize too much with a guy who’s making that much money, but it still must be embarrassing for a solid pro. Hopefully he’ll make it back to the NHL once his lengthy, expensive deal runs out. In the mean time, he’ll just have to make the best of things.