The NHL’s oldest goaltending tandem is sticking around for a couple more years.
On Monday, the New Jersey Devils announced they’ve re-upped with Johan Hedberg on a two-year, $2.8 million deal, one that includes a full no-trade clause.
With the earlier announcement of Martin Brodeur signing a two-year deal as well, the Devils retain the oldest goaltending tandem in the league — Brodeur is 40, Hedberg is 39 — with contracts that will take their ‘tenders to ages 42 and 41, respectively.
The deal represents a slight pay bump for Hedberg, who made $1.25 million over each of the last two years. The veteran Swedish netminder appeared in 27 games for the Devils last season, posting a 17-7-3 record with a .918 save percentage, 2.23 GAA while leading the Devils with four shutouts (Brodeur had three.)
It’s a key signing for the Devils. Many credit Hedberg’s large body of work last season as an important part of keeping Brodeur fresh for the postseason.
As for the rest of the league — with Hedberg coming off the market, the UFA goalie pool is officially thinned out. Teams looking for veteran backup help are now left to sift Dwayne Roloson, Alex Auld, Brent Johnson and Ty Conklin, to name a few.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: