Redden to go on market

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

Wade Redden won't be out of work long.

Given notice by the Ottawa Senators that he won't be back next season after he refused to discuss a cut of $3 million a season (all terms US) -- from $6.5 million last season to $3.5 -- Redden is getting ready to shop himself on the unrestricted free-agent market.

An NHL source said yesterday that Panthers GM Jacques Martin -- a former coach of Redden with the Senators -- is going to take a hard run at signing the veteran defenceman off the open market.

The Panthers' top priority in the off-season is signing a puck-moving defenceman and Redden, who struggled last year as the Senators' highest-paid player, fits the bill.

The Panthers won't be alone in their pursuit of Redden, who will likely have to take a cut anyway to sign with another NHL club, although only to the $5-million range. It's believed the Blackhawks, Canucks, Predators, Flyers and, possibly the Maple Leafs have an interest in Redden.

The Panthers, who have been pushing for a post-season spot in the Southeast Division, believe Redden could put them over the top.

Redden's agent, Don Meehan, said he's had no talks with the Senators. Still, after spending his 11-season career with Ottawa, Redden, 31, might want to go to a contender.

The Sharks, who tried to deal for Redden during the season, could also make a pitch if they don't sign potential unrestricted free-agent Brian Campbell.

The indications are Campbell will sign a long-term deal with the Sharks. A source said discussions between GM Doug Wilson and agent Larry Kelly have been positive.

If Campbell signs with the Sharks, Redden could become the top blueliner on the market. Blue Jackets' Ron Hainsey, another pending unrestricted free agent, could also attract a lot of attention.

The Senators would have an interest in Campbell, but may try a cheaper route and attempt to sign Penguins winger Ryan Malone.

The loss of Redden likely means 22-year-old Andrej Meszaros, a pending restricted free agent, will be back with the Senators. Meszaros, who's seeking $3.5 million per season -- a big raise from the $984,000 he made last season -- has drawn interest from the Flyers.

EMERY BUYOUT ON HOLD

The Senators will have to wait to buy out G Ray Emery. According to the CBA, with the Stanley Cup final ending Wednesday, the Senators must wait until the buyout period of June 15-30 to get rid of Emery. The 48-hour waiting period rule only applies if the final ends after June 15.


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