One of the NHL's top free agent blueliners is off the market, as the New York Rangers have signed defenceman Wade Redden to a six-year contract worth $6.5 million a season.
Redden, 31, became an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday.
''The time has definitely come for me to move on. A fresh start is going to be exactly what I need to rejuvenate myself,'' Redden told The Canadian Press. ''I feel I've got a lot to offer the Rangers on the ice and off the ice. I'm certainly looking forward to a new beginning and a new chapter.''
Redden scored 38 points, and posted a plus-11 rating in 80 regular season games with the Ottawa Senators in 2007-2008. During his 11-year career in Ottawa, Redden has tallied 410 points in 838 games, with an impressive plus-159 rating.
''In our opinion he's the best first-passer in the game,'' Rangers general manager Glen Sather told THE CANADIAN PRESS. ''He moves the puck up exceptionally. He's somebody that we had targeted immediately. He was our No. 1 guy on defence, as well as (Michal) Rozsival.''
Redden was selected second overall by the New York Islanders in 1995 and is a two-time all-star. In addition, Redden was also a member of Canada's 2004 World Cup championship team and the winner of the plus/minus award in 2006.
Shortly after signing Redden, the Rangers agreed to terms with Michal Rozsival with a four-year deal worth $20 million.
Rozsival led the Rangers' defence by notching 13 goals and 38 points in 80 games last season. The Czech also topped the team with 128 blocked shots and an average of 23 minutes, 46 seconds of ice time.
A fourth-round pick of Pittsburgh in 1996, the 29-year-old Rozsival has recorded 46 goals, 127 assists and 383 penalty minutes in 479 career games with the Penguins and Rangers.