Over at ESPN, Pierre LeBrun shares the bizarre situation Wade Redden finds himself in -- locked out by the NHL, unable to play in the AHL.
“It is a pretty rare case, I guess,” Redden told ESPN.com Thursday from Kelowna, B.C., his offseason home. “My mindset now is that hopefully it’s written into the new CBA where stuff like that won’t happen or make it harder to happen so you get a guy, like, out of that situation.” The “situation” he’s referring to is that he was stuck in Hartford of the AHL the past two seasons without any real options, a victim of the system. The Rangers didn’t want to count his $6.5 million against the salary cap after he struggled in the first two years of his six-year, $39 million contract. He has two years left on that deal, which was supposed to pay him $5 million this season and $5 million in 2013-14.
But the Rangers, well within their rights, didn’t assign him to the AHL this season and therefore won’t have to pay him his $5 million salary during the lockout.
Redden could sign an AHL deal for just the length of the lockout -- the league added that option for this season -- but would run a massive risk doing so.
Any player injured while playing during the lockout is subject to suspension (without pay) from their NHL club. It’s almost guaranteed the Rangers would pull such a move with Redden, should he get hurt.
It’s an unfortunate situation given how much Redden’s enjoyed his AHL experience. He was named captain of the Connecticut Whale last season and had 20 points in just 49 regular season games, calling it a “positive” experience.
That said, he wants back in the bigs.
Redden’s hoping for some type of NBA-style amnesty clause in the new CBA, one that could allow him to resume his NHL career.
“I’m 35 now,” Redden said. “I want to get back in the league and show what I can do.”