In a bit of news very few Senators fans will be surprised at after the New York Rangers penned Wade Redden to a six-year, $39M contract last off-season, they've decided the deal is too rich and have been actively shopping the veteran blueliner--and, according to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce 'Malkin to the Kings' Garrioch, they are even looking at waiving him.
From Garrioch's column:
There is talk the Rangers might waive D Wade Redden at the start of next season and send him to the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack to get his $6.5-million salary off the books. New York has tried to deal Redden, but nobody is willing to bite. He still has $32.5 million and five years left on his contract.
Really, though, did anyone in the NHL think that was a good contract at the time? Not to suggest Redden is an entirely useless defenceman--he still has something to contribute to a team, if nothing comparable to his contribtions of yore--but he's no longer a $6.5M defenceman (See: The Rise and Fall of Wade Redden, from this here blog a while back). And for six years, for a defenceman who was--at the time of the signing--31 years old, and would be 37 by the time it expired? One could almost expect the high pay rate on a shorter contract, or a longer contract for a low salary--either one of those would have still been a gamble, but a conservative one, at least. The Rangers, however, have not been known as a conservative team financially.
Over at Blueshirt Banter, jrs1940 wrote about the possibility of the waive. Most Rangers fans commenting on his site have expressed adulation at the prospect of getting Redden off the team's books--and off their blueline.
Robert L. from Habs Eyes on the Prize has toyed with the idea of Montréal pursuing Redden as a possible solution to their blueline woes, as risky as such a manoueveur might be. Rather than acquire Reds on his current contract, though, Robert suggested that if he was bought out by the Rangers (a distinct possibility, as it would save them some real dollars, if not cap dollars), the Canadiens--complete with new coach Jacques Martin, under whom Redden played his best hockey--could get some use out of the old dog.
If Redden were sent to the Wolf Pack of the AHL, he would be off the Rangers' salary cap; and would also be the AHL's highest-paid player. If he's bought out (if that's possible, and I'm not sure of the league's rules on older free agent signings), he would make a fraction of his current salary, but still count against the Rangers salary cap. And if he's traded, well, another team will be saddled (crippled?) with his outlandish contract. But if, as Robert L. suggests, a team can sign him to a mid-term contract for $2-2.5M, it would be a pretty good deal for an experienced defender who still has some good to offer.