Skip to content

Sports This Week: Wade Redden from NHL to Sask Hall of Fame

Wade Redden retired from the NHL after the 2012-13 season.
Wade Redden is among those announced for induction into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame later this year. (File Photo)

YORKTON - Wade Redden grew up in Hillmond, Sask.

To no surprise he played hockey as a youth, and was rather good at it.

In fact, some might say he was great as he made it all the way to the NHL, eventually playing more than 1,000 regular season games, most with the Ottawa Senators.

Redden retired from the NHL after the 2012-13 season.

Now, a decade later he is being recognized in the province of his birth, being among those announced for induction into the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame later this year.

“It was a bit of a shock really,” said Redden of the call informing him of his selection. “It sort of caught me out of left field a bit.”

But, being recognized in his home province was also something Redden said he was pleased about.

“I’m very proud of my roots, of where I grew up in Saskatchewan,” he said, adding the selection call. “ . . . It kind of took me back to my roots.”

Redden said when he looks back at growing up he realizes it was where he got his foundation in hockey.

“I was very fortunate to get a good start,” he said, recalling his earliest teams were local, then becoming more regional in nature as players from various communities came together to ice a team. The early success included a Bantam team finishing third provincially, and getting to travel to Toronto for a tournament.

Redden said that start, and the steps all the way to the NHL happened because people were willing to help him a long the way.

“There were a lot of people who helped me get there along the way,” he said.

Once in the NHL – he was drafted by New York Islanders number two overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft -- Redden carved out a sizeable career. He made his NHL debut with Ottawa in the 1996-97 season, playing all 82 games, then spent the next 10 seasons with the Senators.

In the end he amassed 1,023 regular season and 106 playoff games in the NHL.

“I’m really proud to say I played one thousand games,” he said.

Not surprisingly, as he reflects today, it was a career with its share of highs and lows.

For example, one memory is a playoff series ending goal by Jeff Freisen of the San Jose Sharks. Freisen, who also goes into the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame this year, grew up playing against Redden.

“He went on to win the (Stanley) Cup that year,” said Redden.

While the loss still stings, Redden said he was fortunate to play with some very good teams in Ottawa.

“We had a few playoff runs,” he said.

And, the playoffs were always a very different level of hockey, offered Redden.

“Even now. Watching on TV I can feel the excitement that is around it,” he said.

So does he miss the game?

“I miss it, and I don’t,” he said. “The grind of a long season -- I don’t miss all that too much.”

The playoffs though are different, the high energy players feel even just stepping on the ice for the pre-game skate is special “when the fans are going wild,” offered Redden. “It’s one thing that still gives me goosebumps.”

Of course Redden is not exactly out of the game today, with three daughters all playing.

“I’m still a fan,” he said.

With the upcoming Ted Knight Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame (Induction Dinner taking place in Meadow Lake Aug. 25th Redden said he hopes some family and old Hillmond friends are in attendance to share the event.

“I’m proud to know that I came from there,” he said.