The New York Rangers placed defenseman Wade Redden on waivers earlier today, and there could be several suitors available for the veteran’s services. The Detroit Red Wings, currently sitting a bit light on the blue line, could be one of the teams interested in Redden if the price is right.
Redden spent the first 11 seasons of his NHL career with the Ottawa Senators, frequently chipping in 30-40 points for the team. He signed a six-year, $39 million contract with the Rangers in 2008, but in two seasons was unable to live up to his previous standard of play. The Rangers decided to bury him with their AHL affiliate, the Connecticut Whale, to avoid a salary cap hit, and Redden has spent the past two seasons there. He could still be a solid defenseman for a contending team, though it might be quite the risk to take at this time. If Redden clears waivers, he would receive his full salary from the coming season from the Rangers, and count against their cap. The rest of the contract would be paid at a two-thirds rate and would not count against the cap.
For the Red Wings, signing Redden would likely mean they would have to move one of their other defensemen. Underperforming Jakub Kindl, already heading into a do-or-die season, could be on the way out if that happens. A move like this also means prospects like Brian Lashoff and Adam Almquist would continue to wait for their day in Detroit. Giving up on a developing prospect is never a popular move with fans in Detroit, but this certainly wouldn’t be the first time the team has done so to bring in an established veteran.