Wade Redden waited 1,019 days to get back into an NHL game. He finally did so last night for the first time since April 11th, 2010.
Through no fault of his own, he could not live up to the expectations of a contract that the Rangers gave him that paid him more than $6M per season, and he was “hidden” in the minors for two years, earning his NHL salary but not counting against the Rangers’ cap.
Then he was the victim of circumstance again during the lockout when he was told not to report to the AHL Connecticut Whale during the lockout so that the Rangers didn’t have to pay him at all. Then, when the lockout ended he was told to stay home, so that he wouldn’t get injured because the Rangers were going to buy him out.
Well, smarter heads finally prevailed just before the season and the NHL and NHLPA agreed to allow a special amnesty buyout before the season to allow Redden and Scott Gomez the chance to be bought out before the season started and still find work this year.
Redden signed with the St. Louis Blues late last week, and made his season debut last night. It was his 995th NHL game, and he played 17:23, took a penalty and blocked two shots.
If all goes well, Redden will suit up for his 1,000th NHL game on Tuesday, February 5th against the Nashville Predators. It will be a bittersweet moment for those who respect Redden and what he did for most of his career, in that it is coming a couple of years too late. About 900 days to be exact,
Congratulations, Wade and welcome back to the NHL.