By Bruce Berlet
When the Connecticut Whale gathered for a team meal Saturday night in Manchester, N.H., coach Ken Gernander had a surprise, especially for veteran defenseman Wade Redden.
After the Whale had been without a captain for nearly 16 months, Gernander announced he and assistants J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller had decided the man affectionately known as “Papa” would be wearing the “C” for the first time in his illustrious career. Redden had been an assistant captain several times, including since he arrived in Hartford last season, but never was the official leader of the pack.
“He kind of announced it unexpectedly, but it was all good,” Redden said Tuesday. “It’s a nice honor, for sure, but it was a bit surprising. It’s been awhile since Dane has been traded, and no one had been named captain, though that’s not a huge deal for the team not to have one. There’s obviously a good group of guys here who are great leaders, but it’s an honor for me to get it, and we’ll try to