EDMONTON -- It would appear the Red Ox's days with the Edmonton Oilers are over.
Liam Reddox is taking his talents overseas, signing a one-year contract with the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Elite League.
“I’m obviously disappointed that we couldn’t get something done in Edmonton, but at the same time, it’s exciting to be going over there,” Reddox said. “Obviously my hope is that maybe in a year or two, I can get back over to the NHL after I’ve developed my offensive skills a little bit more.”
Reddox, 25, a native of Whitby, Ont., had a goal and nine assists with the Oilers last season. He was in the last year of a contract that paid him $550,000 and had talked to the Oilers about an extension.
“I think the Oilers had an interest in Liam,” said Reddox’s agent Kevin Epp. “It was just, at what capacity? The Oilers gave him a good opportunity and a chance to play in the National Hockey League, but I don’t think they were prepared to give him a one-way contract and ensure that he was a fulltime NHL player.”
Selected in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Reddox spent five seasons in the Oilers organization.
Last season Reddox started the year with the Oilers AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City before being called up to play with the Oilers midway through the year.
This will be his first venture in European hockey.
“From the people I’ve talked to, it’s a more skill-oriented game over there and that’s one part of my game that I’d like to improve on,” Reddox said. “Hopefully this decision works out the way I wanted to and I can develop better offensive skills and maybe come back as a more well-rounded hockey player.”
The Vaxjo Lakers also signed Brad Moran, who scored 20 goals and added 52 assists in 79 games with the Barons last season.
“It made the decision a little easier, knowing that Brad was going to be there,” Reddox said. “He’s been over there before and he knows the ins and outs a little bit, and hopefully he can show me the ropes a little bit over there.
“There are also three or four North Americans that are also going to be there. That will help as a support group.”