Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dear Wade: It'll cost a lot to stay

According to the Ottawa Sun, Wade Redden is willing to take a pay cut to stay in Ottawa. I should hope so, because he wouldn't be the first to do so.

A lot of recently-signed players left money to stay with a winner Anton Volchenkov (signing for $2.5M a year, could have gotten $3.5-4M), Chris Phillips (signed $3.5M, potential $5-5.5M), Jason Spezza ($7M, $10M), and Dany Heatley ($7.5M, $10M). That's a combined (estimated) $7-9M in savings.

And let's not forget Daniel Alfredsson, who signed a five-year deal in March 0f 2004 with money left on the table, offering the team a further three one-year options to potentially extend the contract until 2011-12 for only $3.8M a year (which they'd be stupid not to excercise), then saw that amount rolled back after the lockout, and continues to play his heart out every game.

Sure, Redden could pull a Paul Kariya and sign with the St. Louis Blues for $7M a year, or play with Ed Jovanovski in Phoenix for the same amount, but you've got to wonder if he's about ready to win something.

The writing is on the wall that Redden wants to stay. Obviously there's what he said, but actions are louder than words; when he refused to waive his no-trade clause this past season it was not only because he didn't want to play for the lowly Oilers, but he also wanted to stay in Ottawa. If he really wants to stay, though, he'll have to take a significant pay cut. We're talking about $3M below his current contract, which is already lower than he could have signed for. As a number three defenceman on the depth chart, $6.5M is way too much. While he's a valuable part of the defence corps, and plays a lot of all-purpose minutes, he'll probably need to sign a Phillips-esque contract around $3.5-4M per year.

Do that, Redden, and I'll never complain about your play again. Because you'll have proven that it's not all about money for some pro athletes.
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