Louis defenceman Wade Redden is back where he belongs
When he was embarrassingly exiled to the American League for 2 1/2 years to play for the Connecticut Whale in Hartford, Wade Redden was pretty much lik Nike Adidas Shoes e everybody else down there except for that $79,000 an hour salary.
He rode the buses, played three games in three days, like when he was a junior in Brandon. Played in half empty rinks.
carried my own equipment bag, unpacked it at 3 in t Nike Adidas Shoes he morning after road trips was I going to do? Stay on the bus? said Redden, who grew up in Lloydminster and knows what a day work is all about. Maybe they have other people to schlep bags in the NHL hard working equipment staffs Redden, now back in the bigs with the St. Louis Blues, scaling the 1,000 game plateau, never ac Nike Adidas Shoes ted the big shot while he was in the AHL even making $6.5 million a year. He just glad he got a get out of jail buyout from the New York Rangers as part of the new CBA, albeit a buyout accelerated for himself and Scott Gomez in Montreal when they supposed to start this summer.
He admits he wasn sure he ever make it back to where he belonged. He played 994 NHL games before he played his first of 156 in the minors. He admits that his contract ($39 million over six years and $8 million in salary in his two seasons in New York) was a giant albatross around his neck, wondering at times that if he just have signed for less he still be in the NHL with the Rangers. He knows he became a whipping boy for some loud fans in his two years in New York because he wasn living up to that wage, at least offensively.
uh, can be hard on players, said Redden, 35, a smile crinkling his face.
No kidding. They got all over former Rangers defenceman Tom Poti, to w Nike Adidas Shoes here he didn want to touch the puck. They yelled at New York Islanders Hall of Famer Denis Potvin, after his father passed away, did he look in the casket? They can be cruel. You either a hero or a zero with some fans there.
Redden, who was bought out for two thirds of the $8.4 million left on his contract, says he played one game against Sheldon Souray when Souray was banished to the AHL, and loaned to the Hershey Bears. That was odd, two veteran NHL defencemen in the minors, making a big buck in the wrong league. remember Kris Newbury slashed Souray on the back of the leg and I think he hit a nerve, said Redden, who took a year and a half longer to get back to the NHL than Souray, but both got through the exile.
He was lining up alongside Kevin Shattenkirk against the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night, in his 20th game since he signed a one year contract ($800,000 salary, and $200,000 in performance bonuses) with the Blues. Undoubtedly, there will be a large contingent from Lloydminster at the game.
bringing a bus up? Redden was asked.
a convoy of SUV Been awhile since you played in Edmonton? don know who coming, but they on their own for the tickets, laughed Redden.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock says Redden has been up and down with his play, but has found his comfort level. was up here at the start, said Hitchcock, putting his hand over his head, he went to here. He dropped his arm to his knees.
a lot of older guys he went way down, but once he started to get vocal in the locker room and with his teammates, he improved, said Hitchcock. When he emotionally engaged with his teammates and stopped being a visitor, his play got better. The last six or seven games he been fine. He went through the wall stage of not playing, just practising, and he went down. down as in being an NHLer, though. Not down as in having to play in the American League.