Here’s my story in “today’s paper about Wade Redden”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080923/SPORTS01/809230381/-1/SPORTS, who made his Rangers debut last night against his old team.
Like I said earlier, other than seeing Brad Isbister of all people wheel right past him—a huge exception, I know—I thought Redden still offered a glimpse of his upside. In our conversation yesterday, Perry Pearn said the Rangers targeted the defenseman in large part because they consider him one of the best first-passers in the game, a needed asset in starting a rush up ice. I saw that, and I saw a player willing to move quickly on the power play and get shots on goal.
All of that, of course, is what the RangersÂ are hoping for. What they don’t want is a player who struggled along with everyone else on the Senators down the stretch last season. According to Pearn, though, Redden should have been able to put that behind him the moment he signed with New York.
“I was fairly in tune to the situation as it unfolded in Ottawa, and I think it had a lot more to do with factors that weren’t in players’ control. And my sense was when good players like Wade were struggling, it wasn’t because they had all of a sudden become bad players,” Pearn said. “But what happens in those situations is the guys who take the brunt of the criticism were the best players. And it didn’t help that Wade was heading into free agency. When things aren’t going well, it’s easy to pick targets.”
In other news: