What If Redden Heeded Tortorella’s Warning?

August 11, 2010, by

At the end of the season last year, it became public knowledge that coach John Tortorella warned Wade Redden that he will need to fight for his position on the roster, and nothing will be guaranteed based on the size of his contract. The Rangers moves this offseason, specifically the signing of Alexander Frolov and acquisition of Todd White, have proven that they plan on removing some salary from the roster. Currently, the Rangers sit about $1.5 million over the $59.4 million salary cap, with Marc Staal still waiting to be signed. Although Staal’s case for a large salary was hurt by Erik Johnson signing at under market value, it is safe to assume that Staal will at least want to be compensated more than Dan Girardi and his $3.325 million salary.

If a nice, round number for Staal is set at $4 million, which is $500,000 under where I initially projected his market value, then that leaves the Rangers with very little options for clearing salary cap space. Prior to the Todd White acquisition, the cap space for the Staal deal could have been made by assigning both Mats Zuccarello-Aasen and Matt Gilroy to Hartford. However, with White on the roster, those moves are simply not enough anymore. In short, Wade Redden’s salary is all but a lock to sent to Hartford.

But what if Redden shows up to camp and plays well? Larry Brooks addressed this in a recent article:

And what if Redden, who knows his NHL career is on the line here, who knows that if he is waived through the league in September he will never get back, what if Redden plays assertive, sharp hockey beginning with the first scrimmage and maintains his level? What if Redden outplays just about every defenseman in camp?

Then the Rangers will be in a state of severe stress. Then, incorporating that $6.5 million onto the season cap would mean that Sather would have to slash the roster in order to leave enough space to match on Staal, who at that point would become a very inviting target for an offer sheet.

What if Redden is one of the best defensemen in camp? Brooks hits the nail on the head, the Rangers would then be hard pressed to find the salary cap space to keep him on the roster, while trying to sign Staal. While I have been on record saying that the Rangers will not be waiving Redden, I am starting to believe that there is no other way to get the team under the salary cap ceiling without waiving him. There is simply no way of putting a 20 man (or 22, depending on the need for a 13th forward and 7th defenseman) roster together without clearing Redden’s contract. It is simply a matter of business now. That will come as a cause for celebration for many all Ranger fans. But again, what if Redden is one of the best players in camp? What if he clearly outplays Steve Eminger? Are people going to miss the 2010 training camp Redden? Are people going to boo Eminger because they want Redden? It’s a long shot, but hey, anything’s possible nowadays.

Categories : Business of Hockey


  1. says:

    If Redden doesn’t make the team it’s a given that NYR fans will be booing at least 1 dman all season. Every year the fans ned a whipping boy. However, it won’t be b/c the fans want Redden back!

  2. Patrick says:

    It doesn’t matter how Redden plays, he’ll be waived and sent to Hartford. Doubtful they will buy him out.

  3. MIke says:

    Dave, it’s Sather told the Press about earn the spot in the roster disregarding size of contracts and it wasn’t point any name, but our assumptin is Redds. We’re in good shape to sign Staal and have Gily and MZA on roster. It’s White who will catch up Redds down in HRTF. I think the number $4.5ml isn’t your initial projection simply b/c Staal doesn’t worth it more than $3.5ml, but lock him for 6-8 years can come to this numbers having him here at prime age.

  4. Redfish says:

    All these “what-if” scenarios will prove pointless, in my view. Ranger management is moving on from Redden’s contract, pure and simple; and the players coming onto the team (McDonagh, Eminger, Frolov) showed the organization’s hand. White may not make the club; it’s been a long time since he has skated and, at 35/$2.375mm, where is the need for his skillset?

    Enough with the “what-if” articles on Redden; if the guy was a solid #3 or #4 defenseman, like Roszival, the organization would put up with it. But, the guy is a dud; no better than a #6 defenseman on most teams.

  5. MIke says:

    Dave one more thing. I’d like you to recall last season. All of us remember when Torts scratched Redds and after that he played 2 decent games even fighting with other player. After two games he became Dreden again. My point is: Even Redden is best D in the camp, doesn’t mean he will play for a season like that. 100% take my assurance his career in NHL is finished due to the fact of last 4 seasons he getting worse and worse. Nobody, even himself can see any upside of his game. Even with tremendous effort he can be at least average D, but considering his paycheck none of GM ( including Slats ) will take another risk on him.

  6. Section 121 says:

    Here’s the stats on Eminger and Redden the past two seasons;

    Avg Games 67
    Avg Points 21
    Plus Minus -2
    Avg Ice Time 20.38

    Avg Games 78
    Avg Points 18
    Plus Minus +3
    Avg Ice Time 19.85

    They’re both first round picks (12th and 2nd, respectively) but they’re both not superstars and have put up similar numbers recently. Nevertheless, they appear to be relatively reliable 5th or 6th D men.

    It is the weight of Redden’s contract that creates the illusion of drastically poor play. Whether Rangers’ brass waives him or not, I don’t think Redden’s career is over. I think plenty of teams would have him; just not at the extremely overpriced amount Sather gave him. Half of that price (3.25) after clearing waivers and coming back up, maybe?

    • MIke says:

      Section 121, Do you really know how waiver works? Only on re-entry the other team can pick him up at half price. How can you possibly think that if Rangers waive Redds, the will call him up from HRTF at risk obligation of 3.25ml for 4 years?

      • Section 121 says:

        It might happen in case of injury or complete failure of another player. It’s just as much speculation as anyone else has been throwing around.
        The real point of my post was that Redden is still a solid player. It just doesn’t appear that way since we pay him soooo much.

        • MIke says:

          Ask other fans. I’m very doubt that you get any positive reaction on ” still a solid player”. Forget about his $$$, just watch his game. Does Malik comes to your mind? BTW, even in injury scenario, we have plenty to replace, but not him.

        • Dave says:

          He’s a serviceable bottom pairing guy, but I wouldn’t call him solid. Even if he regains form, I think it’s just economics now.

          • Section 121 says:

            “Solid” may have implied top four D man but I said he was 5 or 6; I really meant he’s reliable or as you put it, servicable.

            MIke, I’ve watched his game plenty and I’ve noticed he consistently takes brutal hits down in our end to make a play or move it D to D to get the breakout going. Yes, his offensive game is no where to be found and that was supposed to be his thing but in our end I think he is realiable, consistent, servciable, and yes, even solid.

            Perhaps we’ll get to see him again this season? I have a funny feeling that Rozy will be traded before this is all said and done.

  7. JT says:

    Even if Redden has a great camp, I doubt the Rangers will trust that he can maintain a high level of play throughout the season. If he wasn’t motivated to play at a high level in the past, once he makes the roster, why would this year be any different??

  8. Chris says:

    Section 121 brings up a good point. While I’d much rather see someone else on the roster, Redden has been a semi-capable 6th/7th Dman type player and its his contract that draws the hated.

    The same can be said about Drury, if he was making $2-3m no one wold think hes worthless.

    • MIke says:

      Dru goal production for last years: 38 25 22 13. Does it sounds optimistic even for $3ml to keep 13G scorer? BTW we have better players at #6 and #7 than Dreden.

  9. Mikeyyyy says:

    Well I say give him a chance in camp to be a forward. I have a feeling he would be a great guy in front oF the crease. But realistically. He’s a goner. Although rosi does have some trade value. I think we see rosi moved.

  10. Jordan says:

    Redden will never be worth his cap hit. That’s #1 offensive minded D-man cap hit right there. It’s just not possible.