Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wade Redden Autograph Card

It seems that whenever the NHL and NHLPA finally agree to the NHL's terms for the next 5 to 7 years (it cannot be called a negotiation since only the players are budging), there will be a clause nicknamed after Wade Redden, one that will disallow teams to bury players in the minors to avoid counting their salary against the cap.

I, for one, am totally against this. If a player isn't worth his salary and becomes untradeable, it's not fair to hinder the team and its 23 other players and make it a sinking ship because of one cog, representing 5% of the team. If you can't bury him in the minors, you are stuck with a sub-par team, and blocked from attempting to improve it.

In any case, this card from Pinnacle's 1996-97 Be A Player set (card # LTH-9A, from the Link 2 History sub-set, die-cut version, signed in black sharpie) shows Redden after having won the gold medal at the World Juniors with Team Canada, and lists him as a member of the Ottawa Senators, who acquired his rights from the New York Islanders on January 23rd, 1996 along with Damian Rhodes for Don Beaupre, Martin Straka, and Bryan Berard.

Redden, despite having been buried in the AHL with the Connecticut Whale (and been their captain for the 2011-12 season) for the past two years has had an impressive career: two World Junior gold medals, a World Cup gold medal in 2004, silver at the 2005 World Championship where he was named the top defenseman, two NHL All-Star Games, the plus/minus award in 2005-06, a participation in the Olympics (2006), and 450 points so far in 994 NHL games.

By not assigning him to the Whale this season and instead having him be part of the NHL roster, the New York Rangers don't have to pay him, as he is considered to be locked out.

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