Unable to use one of their two compliance buyouts until this summer, the Rangers are prohibiting Redden from playing with the team's AHL club, the Connecticut Whale, where he has played since the 2010-11 season after failing to live up to his six-year, $39 million contract.
The concern is that Redden could suffer an injury this season and jeopardize the team's ability to sever ties with him. A team cannot buy out an injured player.
The NHLPA is currently reviewing whether the Rangers are within their rights to prohibit Redden from playing, sources told ESPNNewYork.com. One source said the union feels they have a "good argument" against it.
The Rangers have reached out to both the league and Redden's agent, Don Meehan, on the situation, which is not believed to be acrimonious.
According to one source, the Rangers have given Meehan permission to seek a trade for his client.
Reached via email, Meehan told ESPNNewYork.com that the league and union are "working on the situation" and that he hoped to have more clarity by Tuesday.
"I believe the NHL and the NHLPA are having discussions in relation to an attempt to resolve this issue," Meehan said.
The team has also sought guidance from the league on the matter.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPNNewYork.com via email that, under the league's interpretation of the CBA, the Rangers are within their rights to prohibit Redden from playing.
The situation is similar to that of Scott Gomez's status with the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier this week, the Habs sent Gomez home for the remainder of the season and told him he would not be playing for the team.
The 33-year-old center, who tallied only two goals in 38 games for Montreal last season, will still collect the $5.5 million (pro-rated) in salary he is owed for this season, but Montreal plans to buy out the last year of his seven-year, $52.5 million deal.
The NHL does not feel the Canadiens did anything wrong in how they decided to handle the situation, sources told ESPN.
Per the rules of the recently-brokered collective bargaining agreement, each team is allowed two compliance buyouts to use in either or both of the next two offseasons. A team is not allowed to exercise the option until the completion of the 2013 season, however.