Friday, February 8, 2008

Redden refuses a trade; The love/hate thing

According to reports from, Wade Redden has declined to waive his no-trade clause for a second time in the last eight months. In the summer reports circulated that GM Bryan Murray had a trade in place with the Edmonton Oilers, but Redden refused. This time, the San Jose Sharks asked Murray if Redden would be willing to move, and once again Redden said no.

I guess it's entirely within Redden's rights to refuse the trade, so I can't really get angry--after all, the Sens gave him the no-trade clause in the first place. And it's commendable that he thinks he can contribute to the Sens' playoff success and to a drive to the Stanley Cup, but the bottom line is that his performance--defensively, at least--appears to have fallen off in the last two seasons. And since the Senators appear to have no intention of re-signing him for the 2008-09 season, the largest commitment he can give to the organization is to move on while the team is still able to trade him for some other marketable assets, like prospects or draft picks.

There are times when Redden looks awesome. Like the start of the season, when he fought twice in one game against the Leafs. Or last game, after his gaff in the first, when he made a great outlet pass that resulted in a Senators goal--one of his two assists on the night. He is, however, unreliable and inconsistent. He'll make two great passes on consecutive shifts; one to his team, one to the other team, and both will result in a goal. And despite the fact that statistically he looks great this season--on pace for 47 points (his career-high is 50) and plus-16 on the season so far--he doesn't look nearly as impressive when you're watching him in a given game.

Or maybe it's just that Redden plays so much that he's bound to make a mistake. He averages 23:03 in ice time per game, second-highest on the team behind Chris Phillips. The longstanding defence of Redden is that when he does things right, you don't notice; you only notice him when he makes mistakes, which means that all you remember are his foibles.

Perhaps Redden is only waiting until the playoff drive is over, and then will allow the Senators to trade his rights to another team before the July 1st free agency period begins. Unless he really wants to take a "home-town discount" and signs for $2M or something (the team doesn't have much room for any more than that under the cap, and he'd be giving up numbers like $5-6M per year he could sign on other teams--which would undoubtedly anger his agent and the NHLPA). Somehow, though, I have a feeling he wants to negotiate with Murray until that point, and if no deal is in place, he'll just walk. Probably to the Maple Leafs.
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