Devils 4th line

New Jersey’s vaunted fourth line wants to return


One of the more improbable developments from New Jersey’s playoff run was the production of its fourth line: Steve Bernier, Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta.

None of the three began the year on the team. Gionta and Bernier spent a chunk of the season in AHL Albany (Bernier came into Devils camp on a tryout) and Carter was snagged off waivers from Florida — yet when it was all said and done, the trio combined for 21 points in 24 postseason games with a plus-11 rating.

On July 1, all three will become unrestricted free agents — and it sounds like they all want back in the mix.

“I played all year to prove that I want to be part of this organization,” Bernier told “I tried to work as hard as possible and I’m just hoping I’ll be back.”

“I’ve been in this organization for six years now and I love being here and, obviously, I hope to stay,” Gionta added.

“I’d definitely like to come back,” Carter explained. “I think it’s rare when you get a group together that wins like this, so to be a part of it again would be great.”

Financially speaking, the Bernier-Gionta-Carter line was arguably the best in hockey (postseason, anyway.) Carter played on a $750,000 deal while Bernier ($525,000) and Gionta ($512,500) made close to the league minimum.

Each of them will likely seek raises should the Devils want them back, with Carter most likely to get a significant bump. The 28-year-old appeared in 65 games during the regular season — 4G-4A-8PTS — before scoring five times in the playoffs (including a pair of game-winning goals.)

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.