I still remain very skeptical that Sather will admit to this mega-mistake, the Redden contract which still has four years, including this one, left at a cap hit of $6.5M per season! However, as the summer has dragged on, I am starting to feel less skeptical of the hype. I still don't think it's likely but I do think it's more possible than at any other time so far in Redden's career as a NYR.
Under contract for the upcoming season the Rangers have the aforementioned Mr. Redden, along with Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Michal Rozsival, Matt Gilroy and the newly acquired Steve Eminger. Although he has yet to sign a contract, it's expected that Marc Staal, who is currently a RFA will be back logging major minutes on the blue line. On top of this , Ryan McDonagh who signed his first professional contract last week (a 3 year entry-level deal worth $1.3M per season) is in the running along with Russian prospect Pavel Valentenko.
I've been arguing all along that there's no way that the Rangers bury Redden in the minors because he has $25M left on his contract. But, the truth is, if he's going to be on the 3rd defensive pairing, does it really make sense to allow him to continue to eat up $6.5M of your team's cap? This isn't a Donald Brashear situation where Redden goes to Hartford and still counts against the Rangers' salary cap. Brashear's contract is different because it was a contract signed after he was 35 years old which places special limitations on what effect the contract has on the cap even if the player is no longer on the team. Here, Redden could be sent to Hartford and it would immediately clear $6.5M off the cap for this season.
I guess time will tell, keep your fingers crossed Rangers fans!
Image Courtesy of Canada.com