This morning, while getting ready for work, I was listening to the Team 1200 morning show, and I happened to catch Stuntman Stu saying, "There are some interesting comments from Wade Redden in today's Sun, which we'll discuss in the next segment". I didn't have time to hang out and listen, but I decided when I went for the mail this morning to swing into the store and grab a copy of the Sun.
Imagine my astonishment when I realized that not only was Wade's picture the full front cover of the paper, but the headline read: "HE'D PAY TO STAY".
Yep. Today's a good day, folks!
You see, I had all but given up hope of seeing Redden in a Sens uniform next year. He's coming off a disappointing year as the team's highest-paid player at $6.5 M per season, and he's been dropped to the bottom of Bryan Murray's "priority players to get signed". Since taking over the helm from the ousted John Muckler as the Sens' GM, Murray has signed Fisher, Heatley, and Spezza all to long-term hefty contract extensions. Alfie's already locked up for pretty much the rest of his career. We also have two goalies getting paid more than $3-Mil a season each. That's a lot of cash tied up in 6 guys. It didn't seem feasible that Redden would fit under the salary cap unless he was willing to take a major hometown discount to stay here.
Well...Apparently, he's thinking about it.
As it turns out, the fact that Murray locked up those key players is what's giving Redden pause, and it has him actually thinking about taking a paycut to remain a Senator. He knows that those guys are huge, important pillars in the organization. By signing them, Murray, and owner Eugene Melnyk, have given notice that they want to be serious contenders for years to come, and their #1 goal is winning a Stanley Cup. Wade Redden likes the thought of that. He knows he didn't earn his paycheque last year, and so to stay with a team that has a real shot in his adopted hometown, he's talking about accepting less money to play for the glory.
I like it. I like it a lot. Forget the fact that this dude has been my favourite player since Day 1. Any hockey player who puts his love of the game and his love of winning ahead of the money earns major points with me.
Now, of course, this is all just talk at this point. We'll see if Wade puts his money where his mouth is, so to speak.
But right now, at this very moment, this is the best news I've got regarding my beloved Wade in months. Practically a year. His play has improved, the team is 12-1 to start the year, and the boy really wants to play here.
Hope does spring eternal. At least, for today.