Four years left, $6.5 million against the cap per year... this is what is staring the New York Rangers in the face going into the 2011 season. In theory, this doesn't look like a terrible deal for what was a pretty good defenseman in Ottawa, right? Well, his 2010 numbers were horrible, 2 goals and 12 assists in 75 games is not going to cut it for a $6.5 million player.
So, now there is rumblings that Redden and his massive cap hit may end up down in the minors to start the season, saving the Rangers from his cap hit, but not his actual salary. Redden will be paid in full whatever part of his $6.5 million salary he earns in the AHL, but for salary cap purposes, the Rangers would save the math there, giving them a little more flexibility in the marketplace.
With Redden on the active roster, the Rangers currently have 12 players signed on for $43.4 million against the cap, with no buyouts or other penalties on the go at the moment. That leaves $16 million for 11 players and we all know how much the Rangers like to spend, don't we?
At age 33, this will likely be a huge slap in the face to Redden, but he can't say he didn't have this coming to him. His play has not been of the high calibre that the Rangers expected of him when he signed as a free agent in 2008. In 156 games with the Rangers, he has 5 goals and 35 assists for 40 points and only a +3 plus/minus rating. If Redden finds his way down to the minors, I would almost be amazed to see him back up with the club, unless there was some depth issues on the blueline, like injuries, because his cap hit would probably bump him down the depth chart little by little.
I'm going to keep a close eye on this, but for now, it's still labelled as a rumour, so I'll keep it on this blog for now. Once he actually drops down, I'll post something on the hockey pool blog, reminding everyone to stay away from Redden in their hockey pool draft. Actually, I will say it right now... until further notice, stay away from Redden in your hockey pool drafts.