Just when it appeared Liam Reddox turned a corner with his NHL career, it now appears he's headed to Sweden's Eliteserien. Robert Pettersson of Hockeysverige.se, a Swedish hockey magazine, reported via Twitter this morning that Reddox has signed with the Växjö Lakers, the Eliteserien's newest entrant after winning the second-division Allsvenskan promotion round. Växjö is familiar to Oklahoma City Barons fans because center Brad Moran signed with the Lakers at the end of April.
Reddox, an extraordinarily hard-worker, was a favorite of coach Craig MacTavish who used the young center in a variety of situations in 2008-2009. He fell out of favorite with the new regime, however, mainly due to size concerns. He rejected the team's qualifying offer in the summer of 2009 and reportedly toyed with the idea of playing in Europe, but came to a new agreement to keep him in the Oilers' organization.
General Manager Steve Tambellini and Pat Quinn were and are proponents of size as the primary trait of hockey players and as such filled out the role players on their 2009-2010 roster based mainly on size, relegating Reddox to the AHL. Reddox played extremely well in the AHL that season, scoring 18 goals and collecting 17 assists for a decrepit Springfield Falcons team. Injuries forced Quinn and Tambellini to call Reddox up to the Oilers for a paltry 9 games and Reddox toyed with the idea of playing in Europe
Reddox played rather well in his 2010 training camp, but the writing was on the wall from the beginning of camp and Reddox was demoted to Oklahoma City. Reddox used his speed and physical play to tear up the AHL, scoring 18 goals and collecting 15 assists in 37 games, earning year another call-up to the NHL. Reddox played 44 games for the Oilers, scoring 1 goal and totaling 9 assists, mostly on the 4th line but was a key to the Oilers' improved penalty kill in the second half of the season. Reddox played nearly three 3 minutes per game short-handed and helped the Oilers stay out of the worst all-time penalty kill group.
I was among many Oilers' fans that though Reddox had played his way onto the Oilers' 2011-2012 roster as a bottom line wing or center and penalty kill specialist, but Reddox apparently saw things differently. Whether his view was a result of conversations with Tambellini may shake out in the media in the next few weeks. Edmonton fans say good bye to the hardest worker and wish Reddox all of the best.