Should the Oilers be interested in Wade Redden?

Jonathan Willis
January 16 2013 09:39AM

Photo: Kaatiya/Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, the NHL and the NHLPA agreed to a deal that would allow teams to buy out albatross contracts immediately. The deal was in response to the Canadiens and Rangers choosing to send Scott Gomez and Wade Redden home for the year, with the expectation of buying them out next summer.

Now that those players can be expected to become free agents shortly, should the Oilers be interested in either?

Given the Oilers are four-deep in NHL regulars at centre, there wouldn’t seem to be a pressing need for Scott Gomez; other teams (such as Vancouver, a club looking at employing either Andrew Ebbett or Jordan Schroeder as its second-line centre) will undoubtedly be more interested in him than Edmonton would be.

Wade Redden, at least superficially, is a more plausible fit.

Where would Redden fit?

Redden, after spending last season as the captain of the AHL’s Connecticut Whale, is not about to displace any of the Oilers’ top-five on defence (Smid, Petry, Schultz, Schultz and Whitney). A signing would put him in the mix for a bottom pairing job, along with newcomer Mark Fistric and holdovers Corey Potter and Theo Peckham.

Given that Fistric and Potter look to be locks for the NHL roster, that leaves Redden unseating Theo Peckham for the eighth spot on the Oilers’ blue line, with Peckham presumably being sent to the minors or dealt to another team. This scenario also means the Oilers would keep 13 instead of 14 forwards.

Is that a worthwhile move?

Likely, it depends on exactly how good one perceives Redden as being. If the thought process is that Redden’s an above-average third-pairing guy, this isn’t a move that makes sense. It would have been sensible prior to the addition of Mark Fistric yesterday, but with Fistric now on the team the Oilers don’t need another depth-only guy on the NHL roster.

However, if the expectation is that Redden steps into a third-pairing role but has a decent shot at moving into a top-four slot on the back end over the course of the season, it’s a move that makes significantly more sense. Redden, coming off a buyout, is likely not going to earn a lot of money on his next contract; in this case rather than paying market value for a third-pairing defenceman the Oilers would be paying third-pairing money to a guy who can play bigger minutes as required.

Looking at the Oilers depth chart, I can see the appeal of a guy like Wade Redden. Prior to the acquisition of Fistric, I would have said that bringing in Redden on a short-term deal made great sense for the organization. In the aftermath of the Fistric signing, however, I think the team would need to be confident that Redden would be able to bring more than third-pairing minutes to the table. If they aren’t, I can’t imagine them being as incentivized to pursue Redden as some other teams – the Red Wings or the Islanders to name two – will be.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 DigDeepNBleedBlue
January 16 2013, 06:21PM
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I think IF you sign Redden you trade Potter. And that would/could be an upgrade imo.

Does he want to go to a contender? Probably 99% of players do, but I would assume Redden, right now, would play for 29 teams.

He'd have a go at the "healthy" girl at the end of the bar.

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#52 robinrussia
January 16 2013, 07:05PM
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My question is why have the Islanders not with Dipetro on waivers for buy out purposes....

Are snow and wang that daft to see they are paying him millions to be consistently injured....

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#53 Cody
January 16 2013, 07:12PM
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You can't buy out a injured player

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#54 robinrussia
January 16 2013, 07:28PM
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Cody wrote:

You can't buy out a injured player

He's not injured. He played 1 game in Europe during lock out and is in camp at the moment. In the middle of a scrimmage as I type this.

Looks like the Islanders won't buy him out this year....

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#55 Rama Lama
January 16 2013, 07:46PM
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Maybe we can work on yet another reclimation project......last year it was Cam Barker.

I would rather play the worst player on our farm team ahead of Redden!

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#56 Tayranchula
January 16 2013, 10:50PM
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Wouldn't be opposed for the oilers to bring him in at 1 year 1 million and sending Corey potter packing. He would defiantly be an upgrade over Potter in my eyes.

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#57 Oilfred
January 17 2013, 12:23AM
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The main issue I would have is if he is over whatever was causing him to play so poorly in NY that got him demoted and now bought out. He was a fine player and it all turned crap for him.

I've heard rumblings of him being part of the Ottawa party crowd and couldn't let it go. If that's the case then pass.

# no bad habits around the kids!

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#58 Rocket
January 17 2013, 01:36AM
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@Rama Lama

Yeah, Redden.

Pass.

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#59 Taylor Gang
January 17 2013, 11:31AM
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This is forgetting that the whole reason redden was bought out and playing in the ahl is because he is an awful player

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#60 Time Travelling Sean
January 17 2013, 04:06PM
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The reason he was demoted was the Rangers didn't think he was worth his 6M cap space, and seeing as they're a cap team they demoted him.

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#61 BK
January 17 2013, 04:34PM
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I have a real concern with the drug rumors. I know I can only say rumors - but there is PLENTY about him and Emery and coke. I have NO INTEREST in bringing in a utility guy who brings more than his equipment for baggage.

TO ME that would HAVE to be VERY CLEARLY vetted out before I risk a bad influence on all these young players. If it's just rumors then he could be a great addition.

These are often the things that we never know the facts about in decisions.

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