A day after clearing his waivers and completing his compliance buyout with the New York Rangers, defenceman Wade Redden has a new job - with the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues announced Friday that the team has reached a deal, in principal, with Redden on a one-year contract that will pay him a pro-rated $800,000.
St. Louis was a 109-point team last season, but had some depth problems on the blue line that were exacerbated by Carlo Coliacovo's departure as a free agent.
With the Blues, the 35-year-old Redden will get a chance to restart his NHL career, which has been in limbo, ever since the Rangers exiled him to the minors two years ago, so they could escape the $6.5-million annual salary cap charge that his six-year, $39-million contract required.
“Wade is a solid two-way defenceman,” said Blues' general manager Doug Armstrong. “We believe his experience will complement and add stability to our defensive core.”
In two years playing for the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Connecticut Whale, Redden played 119 games, scored 12 goals and managed 62 points. Previously, he'd played 13 NHL seasons including 11 years in Ottawa and, most recently, two with the Rangers (2008-2010). Overall, Redden has appeared in 994 NHL games totalling 450 points (106 goals, 344 assists) and 654 penalty minutes.
The Lloydminster, Sask., native was originally drafted by the New York Islanders in the first round (2nd overall) of the 1995 Entry Draft.
Redden is scheduled to arrive in St. Louis this weekend and undergo a physical on Sunday.
There is still no word if Scott Gomez, the former Montreal Canadiens centre, who also received a compliance buyout this week, will land a comparable opportunity.
Soon after signing Redden, the Blues announced that Colin White, who'd been in camp on a tryout, had been released.
In other signing news, Alexei Kovalev - the former Ranger, Canadiens and Senators player, signed a one-year $1-million pro-rated contract with the Florida Panthers, after winning a job in training camp.
The hope is that Kovalev will add some scoring depth to a Panthers' team that relied too heavily on a single line last year. Kovalev last played in the NHL two years ago, when he divided time between Ottawa and the Pittsburgh Penguins, but collectively managed just 34 points in 74 games. He played last year in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.