Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Redden the "Worst Signing in NHL History"

From the TGOR Nation Blog in July 2008.

Wade Redden limped to the end of his Ottawa career yet the Rangers signed him to a six year deal worth 6.5 million dollar a season. I have to assume Glen Sather’s satellite dish wasn’t able to tune in Ottawa games this year. There's no other explanation. Redden is a great community guy. For that he deserves a lot of credit. And he played some good hockey here. But he is no longer among the NHL’s elite defencemen. Not even close. 6.5M is too much for a one year deal. But six years?!! At 31, Redden already plays like his body is ready to quit. Just wait until he’s 37 in the last year of that deal.

Wow. That writer was bang on. I really enjoy his work.

Redden's career has plummeted faster than Carrie Underwood at a hockey game. After less than one season in New York, Post columnist Larry Brooks calls Redden the worst signing in NHL history. That's gotta hurt.

HARTFORD, Conn. - Wade Redden is Glen Sather's Folly.
That has become painfully obvious fewer than 60 games
into a six-year, $39 million contract that stands as
the worst in the history of the NHL, if not in the
history of hard-cap pro sports.

With skills declining so precipitously over the last
three seasons that if he played baseball, one would
deduce that he had built his previously admirable
career resume on PED's, the 31-year-old defenseman is
the GM's Greatest Mistake, far more substantial than
Stephane Quintal or Theo Fleury or Bobby Holik, or any
of those pre-lockout signings that all came with
erasers.

Or even Bryan Trottier.

It's bad enough that the only way out for Sather is if
he can muster the courage to 'fess up to Jim Dolan and
explain that, sorry, but the Garden is going to have
to pay Redden $31M to play minor-league hockey in
Hartford the next five years in order to remove him
from the cap - think Sather will still have a job for
life following that hypothetical conversation? - but
it's worse that this albatross has become Tom Renney's
Folly, as well.

There may not have been more of a downer this season
than seeing the head coach send Redden out to the
point to start the power play in Florida Friday night
with the score tied 1-1 and 4:05 to go in regulation.
Redden had no business being on the ice in that
situation. He lacks decisiveness and vision. His shot
is weak. It bangs off teammates' bodies 35 feet away
from the net more often than it gets through.

And yet, despite having gone nearly three months (Nov.
19) without as much as a single point on the
five-on-four power plays, there was Redden on the
point. When the power play ended in predictably
miserable fashion, the Rangers were 1-for-26 over
eight matches and Redden had endured his 34th straight
game without a five-on-four point despite once again
leading Rangers' point-men in ice time.

Enough! Enough already!


It's enough, in fact, to create the suspicion that
Renney's decisions are being guided by the numbers on
Redden's pay stub rather than the ones he has failed
to produce on the ice, where he has been a liability
in every situation, not only on the power play.

It's as if Renney is afraid to embarrass Sather and
the organization by sitting the free-agent
acquisition, when the hard truth is that it is
Redden's performance that is the embarrassment.

If Frankie Rodriguez blows 12 of his first 15 save
chances with the Mets, does anyone believe Jerry
Manuel would keep sending the closer out to the mound
for the ninth inning, three-year, $37M contract or
not? Further, does anyone believe Manuel would keep
his job if he did? Does anyone believe Redden would be
in the lineup, let alone on the point, let alone
averaging 22:08 of ice time, if he were making $1.5M
instead of $6.5M?

Then again, these are the Rangers, who burned nearly
$350,000 of cap space - which equates to $1.6M in face
value at the trade deadline, by the way - by keeping
Patrick Rissmiller on the roster for 62 days after he
first cleared waivers.

And then again, this is Renney, who wouldn't use Petr
Sykora on the power point point though he helped run
the unit for the 2000 Cup champion Devils and the 2003
Finalist Ducks, and wouldn't use Matt Cullen on the
point either, even though that's where he played for
the 2006 Cup-champion Hurricanes.

This is Renney, whose power play rotation on Friday
inexplicably allotted 0:51 of ice to Nikolai Zherdev,
the team's most talented offensive performer, while
Scott Gomez, who has been nearly as inefficient as
Redden, was on for 3:12.

This is Renney's Folly.

1 comment:

Jalen said...

Though I agree with the general sentiments of both the TGOR Nation blogger and Mr. Brooks, and I acknowledge it's a tight contest, I must respectfully disagree with the characterization of Wade's signing as the "worst in the history of the NHL."

That designation must continue to be reserved for Alexei's 10-year, $90M extortion of the NY Islanders. If not for the 24% salary roll-back as a result of the lockout (after which Alexei's contract would still exceed Wade's), the Islanders would be dead instead of just crippled by his buyout.

I guess the lesson is simple - don't sign former Sens.

Cheers,
Jalen