The St. Louis Blues agreed in principal to a 1 year, $800,000 deal with defenseman Wade Redden Friday.
The 35 year old Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native departed the Ottawa Senators in 2008 offseason by agreeing to a six-year, $39 million contract with the New York Rangers. As some UFA moves do, they don’t pan out. Redden’s play declined in comparison to the compensation he was receiving. So much so that the Rangers buried the veteran at their AHL affiliate in Hartford in 2010. The rationale for the move was clear. Remove the cap hit from their bloated books.
In his two seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale, Redden has racked up 12 goals and 62 points in 119 games. He served as team captain during the 2011-12 campaign. Redden has 994 career NHL games played over 13 seasons. Registering 106 goals, 450 points, and a Plus-162 rating in total.
Even if Redden no longer the minute munching point producer he once was, he should fill the veteran presence void in the the Blues lineup with the departures of Jason Arnott and Carlo Colaiacovo. In terms of what the 2nd overall pick from the 1995 draft brings on the ice, think a stereotypical “two-way” defender. One not all that dissimilar to former Blues captain, Eric Brewer. Don’t start jeering just yet. At the low price point and associated risk he won’t carry the same responsibilities as Brewer.
Assuming a physical on Sunday uncovers no hidden health issues the Blues’ newest defenseman should be available for Monday’s game against division rival Nashville.
Given the expectations placed on Ian Cole and the signings of Jeff Woywitka and Taylor Chorney over the summer, Redden is likely to compete directly with those three directly for icetime. Which could mean reps with Alex Pietrangelo or Roman Polak.