So with John Tortorella literally skating all 400 invitees to camp (just kidding, more around 60), one player named Wade Redden is proceeding as planned - making $6.5 million, told that he could lose his spot on this season's roster, but reassured by the brass that if he proves himself in camp he will remain a Ranger.
Knowing that the entire blogosphere and any fan of the Blueshirts wants this guy buried in the minors, and the very fact that on the first day Mr. Redden was buckled over and winded 2/3 through the suicide sprints, one would think he'd be trying on Wolfpack jersies to accommodate the new shoes (or skates for that matter) for his inevitable trip north to Hartford - leaving behind his NHL career, 29 other NHL teams unwilling to give him a look or consider a trade. Sucks to be him.
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy feels different than you and I, so I share in full his take on the Redden that we all know and loathe. Maybe Yahoo is right or maybe Ryan is a Yahoo for daring to challenge the faithful. Give it a look:
Rangers fans vs. Inevitability
I know it's a difficult truth to wrap one's head around, but there's almost no way Wade Redden(notes) sets foot in Hartford this year, unless Madison Square Garden burns to the ground two hours before a scheduled game.
The Rangers rumor mill, which always specializes in a particular brand of wishful thinking, heated up this summer as several emerging defensemen appeared poised to at least compete for a spot with the big club. This, many decided, was the year Redden's contract -- which has for so long hung around the club's neck like Coleridge's albatross -- got muscled out of the lineup and down to three years of bus-riding.
But this isn't going to be the year for Ryan McDonagh(notes) or Matt Gilroy(notes), at least not at Redden's expense. He's owed $6.5 million for each of the next four seasons, and while ownership might have been able to justify burying that much in the minors for one season, the term and money are both too long to stuff it in the minors.
Whether or not you find the idea repulsive (and you should), Redden is going to be a part of the Rangers' blue line for the rest of his comical contract. You may as well start dealing with it now.
How are you feeling now Rangers fan? Shoot me a note and let me know how this makes you feel. (I know already). If you ask me, I think he's wrong and Redden is already preparing his Russian hockey career.
Some other nice posts regarding camp this weekend:
* Frolov dominating the first couple of scrimmages here.
* Great recap of Day Two at camp here.
* Derek Stepan centering Frolov and Gaborik making an impression here.
This Thursday marks the first pre-season game as the Blueshirts will meet the NJ Devils and it'll be the first hockey in a long time -- it will be fun to watch what combinations work and don't work -- one thing to look out for is how hard these kids will play for the Garden faithful, the true test of how NHL ready any of them truly are.
Let youth be served this week and let Wade Redden determine his own fate. Let's Go Rangers!