Wade: 'I want to stay'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:44 PM ET

Wade Redden wants to make one thing perfectly clear: He doesn't want to leave Ottawa.

The Senators defenceman told the Sun from his Lloydminster, Sask., home last night he wants to stay with the only team he's ever played for in the NHL. But the nine-year veteran admitted the final decision isn't up to him.

Redden, 28, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Based on his comments after the Senators' season was ended by the Buffalo Sabres, there has been a lot of talk that he might want to move on.

But Redden put that sort of speculation to rest yesterday by stating his No. 1 priority is to stay with the Senators. He also understands, however, that the team might not be able to keep him and fellow blueliner Zdeno Chara, who will also be a UFA.

"I want to stay," said Redden as he prepared for a late afternoon tee off back home. "But we've got to see what (the Senators) say as well. Maybe they're not going to be able to keep both (Chara) and I, so they've got some decisions to make as well. We just have to see where it goes."

Redden is right on the point about Chara. The Senators might decide they can't afford to keep both players and simply decide to build around just one of them.

Right now, Redden is going to wait to see what happens with contract talks. He hasn't had any discussions with agent Don Meehan since he held a three-hour meeting with Senators GM John Muckler and outgoing assistant Peter Chiarelli Thursday.

It's believed the two sides exchanged numbers during the session at a Toronto hotel. Sources say Redden is seeking between $6.25-$6.5 million per season on a long-term agreement from the Senators.

Muckler also reassured Redden that Melnyk remains committed to bringing the Stanley Cup to Ottawa. The Senators and Meehan agreed to hold more talks next week.

"I haven't really gotten an update on exactly what happened from (Meehan) yet," said Redden. "We just haven't had the chance to talk. I'm hoping to speak with him later (today) and then I'll have a better idea.

"Hopefully, we'll be able to get something done."

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


Videos

Photos