It wasn't too long ago when the big name to hit the "Take my defenseman, please!" bin was Sheldon Souray. Now comes news that Wade Redden will be going through the waiver process. If you're not aware of it, this is essentially a three-step process:
1) Redden hits the wire and anyone can take him and his $6.5 million cap hit (with four years left).
2) If every team passes on him, he'll be demoted to the AHL where his cap hit is buried.
3) If a team is interested in him, they will contact the Rangers about bringing him back up. By recalling him, he goes through waivers again, and if a team grabs him, the team is responsible for half of his salary and half of his cap hit while the Rangers pick up the tab. His cap hit would be $3.25 million.
In essence, this is New York Rangers management saying they'll eat up to
$36 $23 million on the guy.
(Update: I couldn't do math without coffee this morning.)
Now, when FTR put up a poll about whether or not Sheldon Souray was worth picking up at half price ($2.7 million), the response was an overwhelming yes, with some 80% voting to go for it. I felt the same way, but I certainly don't about Redden. Here's why.A quick comparison of Souray's numbers and Redden's numbers show that Souray hasn't really regressed skill-wise, he's just been hurt a LOT. Redden's stock was plummeting even three seasons ago when he put up 38 points for the Ottawa Senators. By then, Sens fans were regretting the decision to keep Redden over Zdeno Chara, who would go off to become Boston Bruins captain and a Norris Trophy winner.
Souray, on the other hand, had a dynamite first healthy year (his second season) with the Edmonton Oilers, putting up a monster 23 goals while playing 20+ minutes a night. On a team with enough depth, Souray could play a more appropriate 17 minutes a night while quarterbacking the power play with his cannon of a shot. Less minutes mean less wear on the body, which would hopefully keep him healthy the whole night; at $2.7 million, the upside is high.
Redden doesn't bring any of that to the table. He was way overvalued when the Rangers signed him to that ridiculous contract (seriously, did any team offer anything even close?) and even at half price, there are better defensemen out there. Perhaps some team feels that Redden has enough talent but simply needs the right situation. At $3.25 million, he doesn't need to compete for the Norris; he'd simply need to put up 35-40 points while helping out on the power play.
Redden's listless play may be a symptom of not being in the right place. Still, it's a risk I wouldn't take. Would you?
Would you like Wade Redden on your team at half-price ($3.25 million cap hit for the next four years)?
Yes (47 votes)
No (293 votes)
340 total votes