The Ottawa Senators’ re-signing of Jason Spezza to an expensive multi-year contract increased speculation defenseman Wade Redden could be playing his final season in a Senators jersey.
Redden, who’ll earn $6.5 million this season, is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer. The Spezza signing puts the Senators payroll for next season at more than $41 million and with key players such as Andrej Meszaros and Chris Kelly to also re-sign, Redden could be the odd man out.
The Ottawa Sun recently reported he’d consider a pay cut to remain a Senator, but didn’t elaborate on the amount. Plus there’s doubt his agent, Don Meehan, would consider that option if his client could get more money elsewhere.
Given the possibility other potential UFA defensemen such as Buffalo’s Brian Campbell, Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom, Colorado’s John-Michael Liles and Tampa Bay’s Dan Boyle are likely to re-sign with their current teams, Redden could become next summer’s most-pursued blueliner.
Some pundits have suggested Murray trade defenseman Joe Corvo and/or goaltender Martin Gerber to free up cap space to re-sign Redden, but with the Senators off to a great start Murray probably won’t tinker with team chemistry at this point in the season.
It’s also been speculated the Senators could shop Redden by the trade deadline, but his “no-trade” clause rules that out, especially since he declined to waive it last summer to facilitate a trade to the Edmonton Oilers.
Redden’s future appears uncertain, but it’s a certainty he’ll stick with the Senators this season for one more shot at the Stanley Cup…
Boston Bruins winger Glen Murray’s slow start is fueling trade rumors, but there might not be much of a market for him.
His offensive production has been in steady decline since his career-best 44-goal, 92-point performance in 2002-03. He’s missed considerable time to injury over the past two seasons and age is starting catching up to the 35-year-old veteran.
Factor in his $4.15 million salary and his market value plummets further…
Montreal Canadiens winger Michael Ryder has also struggled to find the back of the net this season.
A two-time 30-goal scorer eligible for unrestricted free agency in July, Ryder has only two goals thus far, resulting in a reduction of playing time and the inevitable trade rumors.
It must be remembered that Ryder is also a streaky scorer who could snap out of his current slump at any time. With the Canadiens currently riding high in the Eastern Conference standings, GM Bob Gainey is probably in no rush to move him, although that might change if he doesn’t pick up the pace soon…
The Chicago Blackhawks have had mixed results with their veteran acquisitions over the past year.
Forwards Robert Lang and Jason Williams have been among their top offensive forwards and until his recent injury Kevyn Adams provided much-needed defensive grit and leadership. However, forwards Sergei Samsonov and Yanic Perreault have been major disappointments so far.
GM Dale Tallon could try to trade them, but their poor performances will hurt their market value, although Perreault might be of use to Cup contenders seeking a faceoff specialist…
Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay Feaster is believed to be seeking a starting goaltender, but it could be some time until he acquires one.
The Lightning are still in the process of being sold to Absolute Hockey Enterprises, so any potential trades might not occur until the sale is complete.
Complicating matters further is goaltender Marc Denis, whom coach John Tortorella has clearly lost confidence in. Tortorella has given the bulk of the starts this season to Johan Holmqvist.
Feaster would love to peddle Denis, but there’s no market for a struggling goalie earning more than $2.8 million per season.
Denis could be demoted to the minors to clear cap space, but that decision could also require the approval of the team’s new ownership.
Feaster also denied a recent rumor that he was shopping center Brad Richards for a goaltender.
Richards’ name has been popping up in Lightning trade rumors since the 2005-06 season, which is odd considering the “no-trade” clause in his contract, his almost unmovable $7.8 million per season salary and Feaster’s constant denials of these rumors.
The Lightning could acquire a new goalie by mid-season, but Richards obviously won’t be part of the deal.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, www.spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.