The New York Rangers have placed veteran Wade Redden on waivers, despite having four years left on his contract.
The 33-year-old defenseman’s six-year, $39 million contract was too much for what Redden was producing.
If no team picks up his contract then he’ll be assigned to the Rangers’ AHL team in Hartford. Redden says he has yet to decide whether he’ll report to Hartford and continue to receive the $23 million he has left of his contract.
“I really don’t have any conclusions right now,” Redden told ESPN. “I got to take this time and see what develops. But at this point, I don’t have any answers for you. We’ll see what happens. I haven’t made any decisions yet. I have some time to think about it.”
Redden was a promising prospect when he was picked first overall in the 1995 NHL draft by the New York Islanders. He was traded to the Ottawa Senators in 1996 and was extremely successful there, getting highs of 17 goals in 2003-04 and a total of 50 points in 2005-06. He won NHL Rookie of the Month in April 1997 and was named to the NHL All-Star game twice.
After several successful seasons with the Ottawa Senators, he joined the Rangers as a free agent in 2008. His declining play in the last couple of years in Ottawa lead to a trade attempt by the Senators in February 2008, but Redden refused to waive his no-trade clause.
Last season Redden played 75 games and only had 14 points, his worst season ever.
Redden’s salary cap hit was a staggering $6.5 million, making him the 29th highest paid player in the NHL and putting him in the same range as Dion Phaneuf and Ilya Kovalchuk.
Rangers general manager Glen Sather has now successfully cleared enough cap space to get the Rangers under the $59.4 million cap limit. He had needed to clear over $3 million from their roster.
“I told [Redden] at the end of last year that if he didn’t have a great camp this was going to happen,” Sather said.
Redden apparently did not have a great training camp, as he was not even asked to play in any of the Rangers’ preseason games.