Wade-and-see approach

Wade Redden signs an autograph for a young fan earlier this season. Redden, who can become an...

Wade Redden signs an autograph for a young fan earlier this season. Redden, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, is going to take a week off before sitting down with his agent to decide on a course of action. (Toronto Sun File/Fred Thornhill)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

Wade Redden needs to take a step back before he looks forward.

The Senators defenceman told the Sun yesterday that he's still frustrated with the second-round loss to the Sabres and wants to chill out.

The 28-year-old Redden, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, is going to take a week off before sitting down with agent Don Meehan next week to decide on a course of action.

Redden has expressed an interest in re-signing with the Senators before he hits the open market but wants to listen to other offers because there are only so many chances at unrestricted free agency for a player.

"I've got to look at all my options," said Redden. "This was just another playoff loss, like the other ones, but this one was different. We had a different team, a better team and we still didn't get the job done and that's really frustrating.

"The one thing I know is, if I do go back (to Ottawa), we're going to have a good, talented team. I know the talent we have. You have to have success in the playoffs."

Redden, who will be on the market with teammate Zdeno Chara, hasn't ruled out returning to the Senators and indicated it remains his No. 1 priority.

But Redden wants the chance to win a Stanley Cup. He expressed his opinions to GM John Muckler and Redden is going to take a wait-and-see approach.

"I've really just gotta take a week here to sit back," said Redden, who is still dealing with the loss of his mother Pat to cancer last month.

"I'm not going to make any decisions this weekend and I don't think I have to make any decisions. I'll probably travel to Toronto next week, sit down with (Meehan) and see what we're going to do next."

Teams are already licking their chops waiting for a shot at Redden and Chara on the open market.

EDMONTON BOUND?

A source indicated yesterday that every time the Oilers win a round in this spring's playoffs, they move a step closer to having the financial wherewithal to make Redden an offer in July. He grew up in nearby Lloydminster, Alta., and has an off-season home in Edmonton.

Naturally, the Oilers won't be alone in their pursuit of Redden. Another source said Flyers GM Bob Clarke is ready to jump on Redden or Chara if either gets to the market.

Muckler said Tuesday he has held talks with both players and they both know "the range" the club is willing to pay them. A source said that's between $5 million and $6 million US each, although there have been no formal discussions.

Redden said he has not ruled out re-signing with the Senators before July 1.

"I'm willing (to sign) for sure. I like playing in Ottawa. I like the city and I know we're going to have a team that competes. You want a chance to win," said Redden.

NOTEBOOK: A report on Team Slovakia's website yesterday said Chara didn't go to the world championship because he is still suffering from a hand injury. D Andrej Meszaros did suit up for Slovakia in a 4-1 quarter-final loss to Canada.


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