One of the NHL’s most consistent defencemen in the mid-2000s has hung up his skates.
Wade Redden announced his retirement on Thursday after 14 NHL seasons with the Ottawa Senators, the New York Rangers, the St. Louis Blues, and the Boston Bruins.
Redden was drafted second overall by the New York Islanders in 1995, but he was part of a package (along with Don Beaupre, Damian Rhodes, and Martin Straka) that went to Ottawa for the rights to top draft pick Bryan Berard.
Redden spent the majority of his career in Ottawa, where he developed into one of the league’s more consistent defenders as part of a defence corps featuring Chris Phillips and Zdeno Chara, among others.
At his peak, Redden was one of the NHL’s best on the blue line, with an Olympic appearance and two All-Star Game selections (2002 and 2004) on his resume.
However, Chara’s rise may have inadvertently started Redden’s decline, as the salary cap forced the Senators to choose between signing either Chara or Redden following the 2006 season. The Senators signed Redden to a two-year, $13 million contract, while Chara went on to become captain of, and a Stanley Cup champion with, the Boston Bruins.
Redden’s numbers went down after signing the contract, though the New York Rangers liked Redden enough to give him a six-year, $39 million contract in the summer of 2008. Redden’s time in The Big Apple was disastrous, eventually becoming the pioneer for what CapGeek calls The Redden Rule; that is, the idea of burying a large contract in the American Hockey League so it wouldn’t count against a team’s salary cap. (The rule has since been amended so teams can’t get away with burying contracts anymore.)
In fact, the contract has been mentioned in a few lists related to bad contracts… Like this one. This one, too. This one is particularly bad, as he outranks the Scott Gomez contract. However, Redden should be viewed as a case where people hate the contract and not the player, as Redden was involved in many charitable causes while he was a Senator.
All told, Redden played 1,023 NHL games, scoring 109 goals and 348 assists while posting 665 penalty minutes.