Friday, February 15, 2008

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

The Ottawa Senators have made a couple moves these last couple of weeks that I believe vindicate some of my personal feelings towards some high profile hockey players, not all of which synced with popular opinion.

Let's start with the report coming out of Ottawa that Wade Redden refused to waive his no trade clause, purportedly to San Jose. Normally a team that is on the verge of winning the Cup, or believes it will be competing for the Cup will load up on high priced veteran defenceman on the last year of their contract, and in fact they will trade good young prospects or solid middlemen to accomplish this feat (see last year's Petr Forsberg or Brad Stuart trade for examples). They do not let go of their short term high end players.

To me there is a clear message from Bryan Murray: Wade Redden is not a particularily important cog in this machine when it comes to winning the Stanley Cup.

Despite his pay level, his hype, and his fanfare, Wade Redden doesn't seem to have that much support from a guy who coached him for 2 years and has been his GM for one. A guy who has spent a lot of time evaluating Wade Redden's performance and impact has decided that he doesn't have much of an impact, or at least much of a necessary one.

I have been saying for quite some time that Wade Redden is an over rated hockey player, and judging from Bryan Murray's evaluation, and the fact Redden has been an overwhelming no show for most of the Team Canada 2010 roster predictions, the popular opinion is really starting to sway in that direction.

The other significant roster move the Senators made this week was the acquisition of Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore, two long time faves of mine. Although Cory Stillman was touted as a great addition as a secondary scorer for the Sens, in my mind it was Mike Commodore who was the key to the deal.

The defender has continued to add to his reputation as a steadying presence on the blueline, and as a champion.

Murray went out of his way to acquire Commodore, and he went out of his way to attempt to move Redden. Apparently the Senators believe Commodore has more of an opportunity to help them win the Cup than Wade Redden. The guy that has hair like a clown and was untouted his whole career is now considered more valuable than Wade Redden in terms of role in a championship run. Wow.

Am I reading too much into this?


MetroGnome said...

Redden looked like can't miss #1 guy a few years ago, especially when he just started ripping it up when he entered the league. But he has really, really leveled off the last couple seasons and doesn't even come close to justifying his cap hit. As you say, he's living off his reputation in a lot of circles. For those who watch him a lot or closely, they know he's no better than a #4 guy who's decent on the PP, but prone to brain-farts and isn't particularly intense or physical. He won't be a Senator next year unless he's willing to cut his salary in half (and Im sure he's not).

walkinvisible said...

i, too, have always thought redden overrated, and when the sens chose to keep him over chara, i was shocked. seems murray would've gone the other way, as well, since he's now picked up a guy with some size in commodore....

MetroGnome said...

I understood the Chara move at the time - Zdeno was older and Redden SEEMED like he had the higher ceiling. There was also the added threat of Chara breaking down quicker over time (since he's so huge and plays so much). But, in hindsite, the big man is clearly the better defender.

leanne said...

The thing that strikes me about Chara is that he's gotten better with every season he played. I remember his early years in the league where he was more a freak show than a top 4 defender.

As for Commodore... since he's been traded, I do a double take every time the media talks about his "veteran presence" or whatever.

Mikey? Reeeeallly? But he's at least one of those guys you always hope will do well.