Wade Redden was once of the best defensive talents in the game, and then he left Ottawa. Without Zdeno Chara by his side, Redden’s play quickly suffered in New York and it was not long before he was sent to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. The best trait of Wade Redden though has always been his drive to succeed and at no point did he throw in the towel.
Coach Ken Hitchcock saw the drive and talent in Redden and believed that he could make a difference for the St. Louis Blues. GM Doug Armstrong agreed and signed Redden to a one year deal that may turn out to be one of his smartest moves.
Coming into the season Redden knew that he would not be suiting up for the New York Rangers, and had to have hoped that the NHL would allow a buyout of his contract so he could pursue chances elsewhere. When he signed with the Blues he did so because he knew he would be given the chance to play alongside of the NHL’s best and brightest in Alex Pietrangelo.
So far Redden may have only played in 3 NHL games, but he is looking more like the player that was known for his great play in Ottawa. Redden scored the first goal for the Blues on Saturday night against the Dallas Stars and did it again last night against the Minnesota Wild. Redden’s goal on Saturday was his first in the NHL since March 18, 2010 against the St. Louis Blues.
During the 2011-12 season, Redden managed to play in 49 games for the Connecticut Whale, posting just 4 goals, 16 assists, and a plus 16 rating. In the three games with the Blues, Redden has just 2 goals, no assists, and is even on his plus/minus, but has shown a ton of promise. His defensive play has been excellent and his contributions on offense have made the difference in back to back games.
To give some perspective, during Redden’s time in Ottawa, he averaged 9 goals and 37 assists per season. While he may not be on pace to deliver just that kind of output, as least as far as assists go, Redden looks to be a valuable addition to the Blue Line. With the St. Louis Blues’ offensive depth, Redden adds a huge amount of depth to the Blues defensive core which were not struggling when Redden was brought in.
We can only hope this level of play will continue, if so, Wade Redden may have just found a team he can retire with. More to come as the season rolls on, LET’S GO BLUES!