The St. Louis Blues haven’t had many things to be happy about in the past week, as goaltender Jaroslav Halak suffered an injury and the team lost their last two games to Central Division opponents. Defenseman Wade Redden provided a bright spot for the team when he took the ice tonight against the Detroit Red Wings, as he did so for the 1000th time in his NHL career.
Redden’s feat is even more impressive given the fact that the New York Rangers buried him in the AHL for the past two season to avoid the salary cap hit. The Blues signed Redden after he landed on waivers, and he has experienced a rejuvenation of sorts with the team. The veteran blueliner has two goals in five games and is logging some big minutes for the team.
The New York Islanders drafted Redden with the second overall pick of the 1995 draft, but traded him to the Ottawa Senators as part of a package that included top pick Bryan Berard. He joined the Senators for the 1996-97 season, and had an immediate impact at the NHL level.
Redden scored six goals and added 24 assists in his rookie season, an continued to be a steady producer in Ottawa for nine seasons. Declining production led to him being dealt to the Rangers, where he played two seasons before he was sent down to the AHL. In two seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale, he scored 12 goals and put up 62 points as one of the highest-paid players in the minor leagues.
While his stats won’t land him in the Hall of Fame, Redden has been a steady contributor in the NHL for over 12 years, and reaching 1000 games is a notable accomplishment for any player (especially when they have to wait two years to reach it).