Last week a wrinkle in the new CBA was ironed out thanks to rare agreement from both sides, and two distinguished veteran hockeyists transmogrified from personae non gratae to desirable commodities with the proverbial stroke of a pen. (Or is it a click of a mouse nowadays?)

Both Wade Redden and Scott Gomez were signed to such outrageous free agent contracts by Glen Sather and the New York Rangers a half-decade ago that both were in the process of being buried alive by their respective organizations. Redden had already been sunk in the minors the last two years, the victim of salary cap restrictions coupled with his personal oversized cap hit, and this year faced the spectre of not playing at all lest he get hurt before the Rangers could buy him out next summer. Last week's change enabled something called an "accelerated compliance buyout" to set both Redden and the Rangers free from the shackles of that horrid contract. The veteran rearguard quickly signed with a Stanley Cup contender, the St. Louis Blues.

A similar situation confronted Gomez this year, as the Montreal Canadiens initially asked him to stay away for the entire season just so they could buy him out next summer. That situation was resolved in the same manner, and it appears that like Redden, Gomez is about to wind up playing for a contender. Numerous reports have Gomez signing with San Jose Sharks sometime today. No official word as yet, but it seems highly unlikely that he might be in the line-up when the Sharks take on the Edmonton Oilers tonight.