Alfredsson feels for Redden

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson says that former teammate and friend Wade Redden is searching...

Senators forward Daniel Alfredsson says that former teammate and friend Wade Redden is searching for answers after being assigned to the AHL by the Rangers. (TONY CALDWELL/QMI Agency)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:03 PM ET

Only seven regulars remain from the 2007-08 Senators team that included Wade Redden and on Monday, they had to feel a little older.

When the former all-star defenceman cleared waivers and was formally assigned to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, it meant that, at 33, Redden’s NHL career is probably over.

No team will pay the $3.75 million (all terms US) of his salary it would cost to put in a claim, should the Rangers try to recall him. And it’s extremely doubtful the Rangers would do a mid-season restructuring of their salary budget to stay under the cap while adding Redden.

Meanwhile, the 11-year Senator wouldn’t be foolish enough to balk at going to the minors, as it would mean walking away from the $23 million he’s still owed by the Rangers.

His only chance at playing in the NHL again, it appears, is for the Rangers to buy him out, which would make him an unrestricted free agent.

“He’s just not sure what’s going to happen next,” said Daniel Alfredsson, who talked to his longtime friend after he was placed on waivers. “I think he’s still a little bit looking for (answers), how did this come about? I hope he can just find somewhere to play where he can rejuvenate himself, and just turn the page and start new.

“It’s been a tough few years in New York for him, obviously. It didn’t work out for both sides, the way they wanted. Hopefully, he can find somewhere to play, where he can kind of get the fun back in the game. Get the energy back.”

While the average working stiff will have little sympathy for a guy who’s going to be pulling in those kind of bucks over the next four years regardless of where he is, players feel for a friend whose career has hit a brick wall.

“I can just imagine it must have been extremely tough for him to get through this, when you can’t turn the corner,” said Alfredsson. “I think he still has a lot to give. He just needs to find the joy in playing, and the energy again, and he can be a good player.”

For the next four years, that could very well be in Hartford.

Ice chips

Mike Fisher left practice early Monday with what coach Cory Clouston described as a minor groin pull. Fisher wouldn’t be so specific when he spoke with the media. “I’ve just got a few things going on,” he said. “I’ll be fine. Nothing too serious. Just didn’t want to make it any worse. I should be okay.” The 30-year-old Fisher reminded that such minor injuries could be expected, given his advancing age. “I’m no spring chicken anymore,” he chimed ... Neither Alex Kovalev nor Milan Michalek reported any problems after seeing their first game action since off-season knee surgery. “I didn’t feel any issue with the knee,” said Kovalev. “It’s fixed.” ... Ryan Shannon, who had his bell rung last week in Toronto, skated Monday for the first time since then. Clouston said the Senators are being “real cautious” with Shannon, who has had concussion problems in the past, but added that “he should play this weekend.” ... So, is Alfredsson anxious to get the regular season started? “No, I’ve still got a few more days to get ready,” said the captain. “I think it’s getting closer (but) still in preparation mode. We’ve still got things to work on.” ... Alfredsson redeemed himself on the golf course last week against Kovalev, who beat him last season. The two had another game Monday.

Butt ends

Prospect Mike Hoffman has shown that one day he should challenge for some time as a power-play quarterback in Ottawa. Hoffman, who will start the season in Binghamton, has manned the point for the last three years in the QMJHL. He looks comfortable doing it at this level, too, but Mike, do you ever take a slap shot back there? “A one-timer, occasionally,” he said. “But there’s not a lot of need for it. And there’s not a lot of time and space out there.” He’s also got a good wrister, with a quick release ... Nick Foligno won’t be playing against the Sabres Tuesday, but he hopes his brother gets a chance to suit up in the game. Marcus Foligno, 19, was Buffalo’s fourth-round pick in 2009. “I like that he’s going through what he’s going through,” said Nick, who talks to his brother every day. “I can relate, when I was younger. He seems a little worried sometimes about where they’re putting him. Obviously, you read into things way too much, when you’re young like that. I know he’s going to play in the NHL one day. It’s just a matter of when. I’m excited for him if he gets an exhibition game.” Nick also longs for the day he gets to play against his younger sibling. It would be a first. “It would be awesome. We beat each other up all our lives, when we were younger, but it would be kind of fun to do it in an organized setting. It would be neat to see him on the other side of the ice, and try to run him over, for sure.” ... Ottawa’s Jason Bailey skated at Senators camp for the first time Monday. He’s been recovering from a strained oblique ... Gs Mike Brodeur and Andre Benoit were waived by the Senators Tuesday. Brodeur, who has a career 3-0 record (with a 1.00 GAA and .966 save percentage) in the NHL, never got a pre-season chance. After a bout of food poisoning, he hurt his back. “Nerve pain,” said Brodeur, who practised Monday . “Feel much better. It’s frustrating. Now I’ve just to go do my job down there (in Binghamton) and hopefully see you guys (the Ottawa media) soon.”

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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