After a great season landed the Ottawa Senators plenty of accolades, defenceman Wade Redden received one final honour before heading out of town for the summer.
This time, however, it wasn't for anything the 30-year-old native of Lloydminster, Sask., had done on the ice, but rather for his off-ice work.
It's been 10 years since Redden, who's actively involved with 65 Roses Sports Club's fight against cystic fibrosis, started Wade's World — a program that allows sick children and their families to attend Senators games as guests of No. 6 — and he was saluted for his efforts by the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
"I've always taken pride in being involved with that," says Redden, who left Ottawa in early July, making a brief stop in Sudbury before embarking on a long haul out west where he'd pay a visit to his hometown before reaching his final destination near Kelowna, B.C.
Redden began the program on Jan. 21, 1997, and since then, more than 6,000 children have been able to enjoy a Senators game from Redden's private suite at Scotiabank Place.
"I was pretty amazed," Redden says of being informed of the actual numbers. "Seeing those kids is a special thing."
On the ice, Redden took part in another kind of special thing this year when the Senators made their first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup final in the team's modern history.
As a result, it will be short summer for Redden and his teammates.
He's having a house built out west, but for now, will enjoy down time in a rented place on the same lake as Senators left-winger Dany Heatley.
Redden targeted July 1 to begin his workouts for next season and, with that date having past, he knows training camp will be right around the corner.
That, however, is the price of success, and if cutting short his holiday time is the biggest drawback to success, then it's one he's more than happy to pay.
"It's a short summer all right," he says. "It's probably going to feel real early coming back. It's going to be short, but that's what we play for."