Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ranger Roster Review 2: Wade Redden

Last time in the Ranger Roster Review we looked at Nik Antropov. This time we're cutting to the chase and looking at the biggest problem the Rangers have right now: Wade Redden.

Wade Redden’s Stats:

Height: 6-2 Weight: 202 Shoot: Left
Born: June 1977 (31 right now)

Games: 81 - Plus/Minus: -5
Goals (3) + Assists (23) = Points (26)
3 Goals in 161 Shots-on-Goal = 01.9% (really bad)
Penalties in Minutes: 51

Goals (0) + Assists (2) = Points (2)
Penalties in Minutes: 0
0 goals in 12 shots = 0.0%
Plus/Minus: -2 (including the series losing goal)

Dave Pucks Says: When we last saw Wade, it was with about 5 minutes left in game 7 with the Caps. Redden was covering (and I use the term loosely because he was covering him pretty loosely) the Capital’s Federov - who was skating down the right side. The wily Cap’s veteran used a passive Redden as a screen to beat Lundqvist, break our hearts, and end the Ranger’s season. That put a bow on Redden’s catastrophic first season as a Ranger and has us staring at the $6.5 million he’s due next year.

It's not that Wade is always playing horribly. He's a veteran player with some useful skills who has the ability to give you a competent game on defense. But his skills seem to diminish every year – his goals per shot percentage is absurdly, ridiculously low (he scores on less than 2% of his shots). And he’s certainly no shut-down defender - and he's no sharpshooter from the point. And that’s not even the main problem.

The main problem is that your New York Rangers are paying him like an elite player – and he most certainly is not one. They are handing him – it’s hard to write this - $39 million dollars over 6 years – that’s Lundqvist type money - and we are getting maybe $2 million a year of value for it. It has been called the worst contract in the history of Salary Caps in Professional Sports. And you know - it's not Redden's fault we're paying him too much - it's our fault. More accurately: it's Glen Sather's fault. If there were no salary cap this would merely be a terrible misjudgment of talent and a waste of all that money us fans put in to the system with our tickets and jerseys. But there is a salary cap. So Redden's contract is eating a six year $39 million dollar hole in our hockey souls - preventing us from getting the talent we need to compete - while running down the clock on Henrik Lundqvist's most productive years. Every time I think about this it makes my fists clench, my blood pressure rise, and my face - I guess I’d have to say - it makes my face redden in anger.

His salary makes him completely untradable - unless we want get back more bad salary in return - which solves nothing. And the space-time continuum prevents us from stopping his parents from ever having met (I've looked into this).

By now the Rangers realize the magnitude of the error they've made - but their options are limited. Maybe they can do a Sean Avery type trade in reverse - getting him off the roster but still paying half or more of his salary. Or maybe a Bobby Holic style buyout. I've read that if the Rangers do buy out Redden they still have to pay him over $16 of the remaining $33 million not to play and will still get a salary cap hit of $1.8 million a year going forward. It's that bad.

But we're not really addressing the root problem: gross mismanagement of a hockey club - manifested as the horrendous overpayment of a defenseman. We will need a miracle to get us out from under this.

So… Let's go .... car accident?

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