NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers have placed Wade Redden on waivers, a source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com, clearing the way to cut ties with the 35-year-old defenseman and his six-year, $39 million contract.
Assuming Redden clears waivers Thursday at noon ET, the Rangers plan to notify him and agent Don Meehan they will be using an accelerated compliance buyout on the two remaining years on his contract, a source told ESPNNewYork.com. Redden would then become an unrestricted free agent.
Per the recently brokered rules of the accelerated compliance buyouts, agreed to Tuesday by the NHL and the NHLPA, the Rangers will pay Redden 100 percent of his salary owed (prorated) for the remainder of the 2013 season.
They will do so while gaining very little benefit for the team; the Rangers will incur his full cap charge for the rest of this season.
Redden's hit will then come off the Rangers' cap beginning this summer and his buyout will then revert to two-thirds the amount for the remaining years.
The only relief -- albeit negligible -- the Rangers will receive in the move, largely viewed as a favor to Redden so he can resume his playing career, is the removal of his contract from the 50-contract limit on the team's reserved list. They are currently at 48 contracts but will have 47 when and if Redden's buyout is complete.
Once an unrestricted free agent, Redden, who has been buried in the minors since the 2010-11 season, would be eligible to sign with any interested team.
He will make both the salary on his new contract plus what he is being paid by the Rangers.
The accelerated buyouts, a modification to the existing compliance buyouts in the new CBA, were designated with both Redden and Montreal's Scott Gomez in mind. Gomez also was placed on unconditional waivers Wednesday, a source confirmed to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun.
Both the Rangers and Canadiens planned to prohibit the players from playing until they could employ the buyout rule. Until the buyout rules were modified, each team was allotted two, although they could not be used until this summer.
The fear was that the player could suffer an injury during the season; teams cannot buy out injured players.