Feb 7, 2013, 8:53 AM EDT
St. Louis Blues defenseman Wade Redden might play in his 1,000th NHL game tonight. It’s a feat that’s special on its own, but it’s his path to this day that has been truly unique.
Back when Redden was shining as one of the top offensive defensemen in the NHL during his days with the Ottawa Senators, no one would have had a problem believing that he would someday reach the 1,000-game mark.
After inking a six-year, $39 million deal with the New York Rangers prior to the start of the 2008-09 campaign, reaching the major hockey milestone was seen as nothing more than a rapidly approaching inevitability.
Of course, things didn’t go as planned. Redden’s contract with the Rangers was a disaster and after 994 career NHL games, the Rangers decided to make him an extremely well-paid minor-leaguer. Redden spent two seasons in the AHL before the lockout prevented him from doing even that.
If it wasn’t for the amnesty buyouts that were included in the new CBA, he still wouldn’t be playing in the NHL. Fortunately for him there were and now he’s with the St. Louis Blues after signing a far more modest one-year, $800,000 contract.
“He was in a tough spot. He couldn’t really do anything. He couldn’t just ask for a trade and get a new start somewhere else. It was a really hard situation. We had talks about whether he wanted to keep playing. The money is obviously not the issue, but it wears on you mentally and with the motivation. I’ve been impressed with how he stuck with it and it’s nice to see that it’s paying off.”
- Penguins blow three-goal lead, Columbus evens series 0
- NHL suspends Matt Cooke for seven games 58
- Ducks’ Getzlaf (upper body) isn’t available for Game 4 (Updated) 3
- Two years after winning the Cup, the Kings’ ‘mix’ comes into question 39
- Duck drama: Selanne to sit as healthy scratch in Game 4 15
- MacKinnon, Johnson and Palat named Calder Trophy finalists 11
- Sharks beat Kings in OT, take 3-0 stranglehold on series 43
- Rangers chase Emery, top Flyers for 2-1 series lead 56
- Bruins dominate Red Wings, take 2-1 series lead 49
- And then there were 15: Lightning eliminated 86
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) (153)
- Bad luck strikes twice: Lightning goal waved off, Stamkos takes knee to head (136)
- Keith doesn’t remember if he taunted Backes after Seabrook hit (125)
- Video: Lucic spears DeKeyser from behind (118)
- Flyers want to ‘punish’ McDonagh (113)