The Boston Bruins and defenseman Wade Redden are going to part ways this offseason after a brief stint playing there. It was an odd match that lasted only a matter of weeks as the Bruins tried to solve some issues on the blue line due to injury toward the end of last season. Now as GM Peter Chiarelli stated, the team is going to focus on developing their youth instead of re-signing Redden. So now what will happen to Redden, who has plenty left in the tank, if he is not staying in Boston.
Teams that need to pick up an experienced defender for cheap should be all over Redden. However, it appears that is not going to happen anytime soon. Teams like the Bruins are focusing on bringing up their promising young talent rather than signing a veteran, or at least him. The stigma surrounding him as a huge free agent bust is hurting his chances of finding another team. He will likely be a journeyman for the rest of his career since no team will want him for the long term because of his age in addition to his stigma. Also, the salary cap has been a burden on almost every team in the league. Other positions and contracts are naturally being given priority over third line free agent defenseman.
However, all these factors should not stop a team from pursing him. Redden will be a bargain for any team that will snatch him up. He performed well during the few playoff games he managed to play in with the Bruins with a goal and an assist. The longer the wait in the free agent market, the cheaper he will come for a team that takes him. At the very least, his average stats and experience will be good for a team in pinch of a good defender.
At this point, there has been almost no activity surrounding Redden. It is doubtful that he will return to the AHL again; his quality as a player, as he has shown recently, will be too much for teams to ignore. There are other good defensemen on the market, but Redden is at the top of the list. By the end of the summer, it would not be surprising to see him find a new home on a short-term deal. Until then, he will be flying under the radar.