Defenseman Wade Rydon joins Ottawa Senators in Ring of Honor

Wade Redden was a mainstay on the Ottawa Senators’ blue line for 11 years and, thanks to his efforts, the fan favorite was the first player inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.

Wyden first came to Ottawa at age 19, hoping to fulfill his childhood dream of playing in the NHL and leaving a legacy on and off the ice. Fans welcomed Laydon home with a standing ovation during Monday’s pregame ceremony.

“Being recognized is a very, very special feeling,” Redden said. “I look back on my time in Ottawa as the best time of my career and a very special part of my life.

“Those were special years because of the team we had, the teammates I had and the memories we made.”

Layden was selected by the New York Islanders with the second pick, but was traded to the Senators when Brian Bellard, the first overall pick, refused to sign in Ottawa.

Coincidentally, current Senators head coach DJ Smith was also drafted by the Islanders in 1995, and the two went to training camp together, and have had a crossover over the years.

“He’s been a great player for a long time,” Smith said. “His consistency, you look at it today, everybody’s looking for that defender who can give you those minutes, get it right, play against anybody, good stick, the whole thing.

“I think, obviously, he gave this to the Ottawa senator for a long time.”

The smooth defenseman credits his first defensive partner, Lance Petrick, for supporting him during his rookie season in which he played in all 82 games. He also thanked defenseman Jason York and senior players Randy Cunneyworth and Curtis Lescyshyn. Layden added that the list is too long to include all the people who have had an impact on his career.

The Saskatchewan Lloydminster native played 838 games for the Senators, fourth-most among all Senators behind Chris Phillips (1,179), Daniel Alfredson (1,178) and Graham Rhys Neil (1026), who were both on hand to celebrate their former teammates.

Laydon also ranks fifth in points (410) and assists (309).

The friendships with Alfredsson, Phillips and Neil were more than just teammates for a few years. The group celebrated births and deaths, successes and disappointments, and countless memories that lead to a lot of laughs when reunited.

“They’re like brothers,” Layden said. “I mean, when you see those people again that you’ve kept in touch with, it’s like you pick up where you left off. … You just get such a strong connection.

“I think that’s what helped us succeed on the ice.”

Redden is remembered for his great two-way skills and his solid play as part of Ottawa’s D-core, but he’s just as good off the field.

In 1997, Wyden launched “Wade World”, which included the purchase of a suite for children receiving treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) to enjoy Senator games and concerts. He also enjoys visiting CHEO, where he can spend time with children and their families, and he is an active supporter of the Ottawa Senators 65 Roses Sports Club.

“I love the idea of ​​doing something for the kids,” Raiden said. “I met a lot of great kids and a lot of great people, and when I look back now, I have my own family and young kids and know that it’s going on and a lot of kids are able to benefit from it.

“I think I’m just as happy as the kids because I see the joy they get out of watching the game and being able to give them a memorable moment is so special to me.”

Ryden joined the Senators when they were still struggling to command respect, but thanks to him and the likes of Alfredson, Les Chisin, Phillips, Marian Hossa, and others, the team became a perennial A strong contender for the playoffs.

Despite 11 straight playoff appearances, which coincided with Layden’s tenure in Ottawa, the Senators never won the Stanley Cup, reaching the finals just once in 2007 and losing to Anaheim in five games.

“The playoffs at home, the big wins and the energy of the fans are all beautiful things to remember,” recalls Laydon. “We played some really good games, especially on the home ice, and those are the games to remember.”

Joining Raiden at the celebration were his wife Danica, whom he met in Ottawa, his three daughters Lainey, 12, Harper, 10, and Ryan, 6, his father Gord, brother Bart and many friends and teammates.

Redden said he still feels the absence of his mother, Pat Redden. She died of cancer in the Senators’ first-round series against Tampa Bay in 2006. Ryden missed Game 2 of the series, flying home to be with his mother, but returned for Game 3 and was the best player on the ice with one goal and two assists to finish with 8 -4 wins.

“I couldn’t help but get a little emotional thinking about her absence,” Layden said. “There are so many memories that come back and so many people who helped us through what she was going through.”

Laydon, who recently joined the Senators in a player development capacity, said it felt natural to come back. Layden joins the late former Senators general manager and head coach Brian Murray in the ring of honor.

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