Apparently this is becoming a bit of a trend. Ia this necessarily a god thing for the AHL teams? Do they have to pay any of the money owed to that player or is it all done by the NHL team? If they do have to pay some to the player I could see this eventually becoming a problem for teams.
Four cases is not a pandemic, and I can't see this becoming terribly widespread simply because of the limits on veterans in the AHL. If those limits were to disappear, this could have the potential to be a very serious issue, but I doubt that happens any time soon.
Plus, it's not like these guys are being sent down strictly because of their contracts. Leighton was outplayed in camp, and Redden and Commodore were atrocious with their respective clubs before hitting the waiver wire. Souray wasn't really anything special last year with the Oilers, although the argument could be made that he was hampered all year by injuries.
I think this is good for the AHL. Having a two-time All-Star like Redden on your roster can really help raise a club's profile, and more talented players with NHL experience can make for better quality hockey.