If Wade Redden did the math…


Quick, someone get Wade Redden a calculator. Some quick number crunching via NHL Numbers shows that the Senators are squeezing Redden out with the new Jason Spezza contract today. Not that that’s a big surprise; rumors of Redden’s demise have been around for a while now. Still, here are some things to consider:

-The current 2008-2009 cap hit is about $42 million.
-Ottawa’s UFAs of note are Chris Kelly, Shean Donovan, Randy Robitaille, and of course, Redden.
-Ottawa’s RFAs of note are Andrej Meszaros, Antoine Vermette, Patrick Eaves, and Brian McGratton
Ray Emery and Martin Gerber take up a total combined cap hit of $6.8 million
-Redden can probably get anywhere from $6 – $7 million on the open market (his current cap hit is $6.5 million) despite the fact that his numbers dropped last season. Cory Sarich, a solid but never noteworthy defenseman, makes $3.6 million, so you know the numbers are skewed.

The current NHL cap is $50 million, but sensibility tells me that we’re not going to have another $5 million increase in cap space. While the Canadian dollar has thrived to boost overall revenues, and there should be a bump in merchandise revenue from the new RBK jerseys, I can’t see things pushing that much further until the league begins deriving more solid revenue from new media ventures (and maybe once HDTV becomes mandatory for broadcasters in a few years, general American sports fans will take notice of how good HD hockey is to watch and the league can get a TV deal of merit again). But for now, I’m sticking with common sense and saying the cap will only push up by $2 million, tops.

Going by that theory, the Sens will have about $10 million in cap space. If they trade Gerber or Emery, that’ll be about $13 million. Of the young RFAs, Meszaros, Eaves, and Vermet will get a raise, so let’s conservatively estimate that those three will make a combined cap hit of $6 million, taking the amount of cap space down to $7 million. There are still open spots on the roster, and if those get filled with a few bottom-of-the-barrel rookies or journeymen, you’ll still take up at least $1.5 million, taking the total cap space down to $5.5 million.

Any sane general manager will want to keep some buffer space for the trade deadline, and there’s always the internal organization budget. Even in a best-case scenario with the Sens getting rid of one goalie contract and Redden giving a hometown discount, there’s no way the numbers will work, despite what GM Bryan Murray and Redden may say. In fact, the nail in the coffin probably wasn’t either Dany Heatley or Spezza getting extensions, but the Mike Fisher contract (cap hit of $4.2 million over five years).

The question for Murray now is if the Sens continue their hot start into February, does he trade Redden to get whatever assets he can or does he hang on to his big-name defensman for another stab at a deep playoff run?


7 Responses to “If Wade Redden did the math…”

  1. 1 Mike Chen

    Testing blog format change


    1) The Senators may not want to pay Redden big bucks, but you can bet your boots if he goes out on the open market next summer a team will happily (over) pay him what he asks.
    2) The question then comes to Wade. Are you willing to take the proverbial home town discount to stay a winner, or ca$h in on UFA status, which is your right?

  3. 3 Anonymous

    Are you crazy, they can trade him for sure. Everyone is picking on him now in Ottawa. He needs a fresh start to be effective. Watch how the Leafs will get under his skin tomorrow night. Get good value back with a trade deadline move.

  4. 4 Mike Chen

    Testing comments again. The last two comments aren’t showing up in the normal post, just the comment form.

  5. 5 shallowfrozenwater

    you just know that a team like the Leafs would like to add a quality D like Redden to the lineup. i agree that the recent signing of Spezz in OTW is going to mean some hard choices for management there and the probable departure of Redden this season. i don’t see it happening this season though since they’ll need him for the duration.

  6. 7 Anonymous

    the Senators should keep Redden, he is a big asset to the team. Him and Alfie have played together for 10 years, and there is chemistry there, especially on the power play.

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