Redden: 'More than money'

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:26 PM ET

He has heard the talk about his days being numbered here, how there's no way Wade Redden can fit into the Senators shrinking salary cap.

It's like it's a foregone conclusion that in the wake of the big deals signed this season by Mike Fisher, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza (representing a commitment of about $115 million over the next few years), Redden will be hitting the golden bricks next summer ... or maybe sooner.

Redden, who has been as big a part as anybody since 1996 helping this team become what it has become, has watched what has gone on lately and one thought has struck him:

"I would feel real good leaving next year and see them win the Stanley Cup," he said, sarcastically.

So, with that in mind, Redden admitted to Sun Media he would consider taking a pay cut from his current $6.5 million salary to stay.

"I don't know what that (amount) is. It's definitely something that I've thought about seeing these guys signing, Spezz and Heater and Fish. I've been doing some number crunching of my own. We'll have to see how things work out."

He joked his agent, Don Meehan, "might slap me" for saying it, but "it's definitely more than the money that's involved. The group of guys that are here are incentive enough."

Redden has no idea how much he's willing to leave on the table to stay and be a part of what is going on here. He'll have to talk to Meehan about that, he said. But that should be encouragement enough for Senators GM Bryan Murray to be proactive -- as he has been so far -- to keep Redden.

Redden is as much a Senator as anybody. He has already left some money on the table to be here. He signed for $13 million for two years before last season, perhaps $1 million less than he could have gotten on the open market.

After a dip in performance last season for a couple of reasons, Redden has rebounded this season to play some strong hockey. He leads the Senators in ice time with an average of 23 minutes, 34 seconds a game, playing all three phases: Even strength, power play and short-handed.

"Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov get a lot of recognition as the shutdown guys, but (Redden) quietly carries a lot responsibility for us," said assistant coach Greg Carvel.

Redden is healthy in both mind and body this season. He was bothered by a groin injury through the first half of last season and admitted the death of his mother, Pat, in the spring of 2006 didn't really fully impact him until last fall.

She passed away when the focus was on the playoffs and that served as a distraction.

When Redden got back into a routine in the fall, the void was a little overwhelming.

"Looking back on it, I was scratching my head wondering why things weren't clicking. It didn't hit me until I came back. The playoffs were such an emotional thing, the games are so big. The summer, it seemed I just kind of floated through it.

'IT WAS TOUGH'

"It doesn't really hit until you get back to the regular routine of things. I noticed it more. When you get back to the regular life, you sure notice the void. I hate to use it as an excuse, but it was definitely a factor. It was tough."

He heard the grumblings about his play.

"There was a lot of talk about last year. I've always kind of measured my success on the team, anyway, so I felt good about last year going as far as we did. It was a disappointing finish, but I was excited to get back and get going again.

"Because of last year, I wanted to come and have a good year this year. It was the focus all summer, even with the short summer. With the start we got it has been great. Everybody has come back with a lot energy. We want to finish what we started last year and do better."

For now, that will remain the focus. Redden will deal with the contract situation when the time is right.

"It's hard to say what's going to happen ... I try not to think about it. It's going to take care of itself. It would definitely be tough leaving. It's a tough decision that is going to have to be made. I'm glad it's not right now. I'm glad we've got the year to play it out and go from there."


Videos

Photos