Redden's 800th game 'no big deal' now

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Certain milestones have significant meaning to an NHL player. Others, not so much.

At 400 games played, player gets a full pension.

At 600 games played (and 10 years of service), player gets his own room on the road.

And what did his 800th game get Wade Redden last night, other than a chance to shoot on the goalie he scored his first NHL goal against, in his very first NHL game?

"I've got another 800 to go," Redden said, for no other apparent reason than nothing else jumped to mind. "It's a lot of games. But 800? I don't know, it's not like 1,000 or 400. Any time you get to most milestones, it's no big deal, I guess. But the hundreds add up."

Even with his good-luck charm (Jocelyn Thibault) in the Buffalo net, Redden was unable to add to his career goal total of 100, though he did come close in the second period. (Although Redden must have thought either his point shot or Jason Spezza's crack at the loose puck was headed for mesh, as he raised his arm in premature celebration.)

Redden may very well have another 800 NHL games ahead of him. But unless GM Bryan Murray can magically find a place for the veteran defenceman under the salary cap, this will be the last milestone No. 6 reaches in a Senators jersey.

STARTS AND STOPS: The longest-tenured announcer in the NHL, Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret, remains one of the very best. Who else other than the 35-year veteran could make "(Bryan) Campbell snaps a stick in half," sound as exciting as Jeanneret did last night ... Decent enough fight in the first period between Paul Gaustad and Chris Neil, who probably delivered the best shot of the bout when he landed a blind right with his jersey over his head. Moments later, it looked like teammates would go at it when Brent Wallace (TSN) and Shaun Van Allen (Team 1200) came to a disagreement on the losing side in the first-intermission trivia challenge hosted by Sportsnet's Ian Mendes. Wally would have been in trouble had push come to shove ... Concussed a week ago by an Anton Volchenkov hit, Sabres winger Daniel Paille was allowed to return to the lineup last night after passing a baseline (and Woodroffe) test Wednesday. Good thing for the Sabres, bad thing for the Senators, as Paille tied the game in the third ... Before dubbing Clarke MacArthur a terrific stickhandler, know that Martin Gerber slid out of position a few times even before he was made to look bad by the Buffalo rookie in the third.

BETWEEN PERIODS: As of Jan. 1, the Senators and Chris Kelly were permitted to talk about a new contract -- something rules prohibited them from doing beforehand because Kelly is on a one-year deal. Ten days later, Kelly said there was no communication that he knew of. "People think you speak to your agent more than you do. I don't," Kelly, who delivered a sweet saucer pass to Shean Donovan for the Senators' first goal, said with a chuckle. "Don't get me wrong. I like my agent. And maybe they've got a deal worked out that I just don't know about." Yeah, right. Referring to himself as "One Year Johnny" because that's been the length of each of his last three deals, Kelly would obviously like to get something longer. "But we'll see what happens," he said. "If they offer me a billion-dollar one-year contract, I'd probably take that one year." ... Biggest media scrums at the morning skates were around Thibault, who was making a rare start in the Buffalo net, and Dean McAmmond, who was being grilled about controversial comments made by Bobby Clarke the previous day. The Flyers' senior vice-president said the suspension Steve Downie received for his pre-season, head-hunting hit on McAmmond was too severe. Clarke blamed the Senators veteran for not keeping his head up. "We were addressing head issues at the time," said McAmmond, who added that in any NHL game "you can always catch a guy with his head down" in plays around the net. "For him to say the league was too harsh on Downie, I don't agree." ... Senators coach John Paddock didn't agree with Clarke's assessment that McAmmond was at fault. "But we both do like Downie," Paddock said away from the mikes as he left his press conference.

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM ...: Yes, Mike Fisher says, players are offered flu shots. No, Fisher adds, he never takes them up on the offer. "Every time I take a flu shot, it never helps," shrugged Fisher, who bounced out of sick bay to play last night. He took ill Tuesday night and was fine 24 hours later. "It hit me hard, I puked a few times, but it was quick." ... Sabres winger Ales Kotalik, who is eighth in team scoring, has but one even-strength assist this season and he only recently stumbled upon it. He has 10 helpers in all and, heading into last night's game, more power-play points than anyone wearing a Senators jersey ... Anyone see Spartacat ripped in the papers lately? Why else would he be firing T-shirts all the way up to the pressbox with his Master Blaster. Catching one was Sean Farrell of The Associated Press. Who says reporters are all about the freebies? Sean dropped the shirt to the crowd.

LINE CHANGES: Twice in the first the Senators had Gerber on the bench during a delayed penalty call against the Sabres, and twice the opportunity ended when they dumped the puck in the Buffalo zone and didn't chase it fast enough. And you wonder why Gerber would bother making the mad dash the next time the situation arose ... Rookie mistake by rookie Cody Bass, who dropped his gloves and tried to fight Patrick Kaleta after the Sabre drilled Joe Corvo into the end boards. Bass drew a penalty, and no doubt a reminder from the coaches to make sure his partner is willing when he wants to dance.


Videos

Photos