Tag: Johan Hedberg

Johan Hedberg

Johan Hedberg signs PTO with Devils’ AHL team


Goalie Johan Hedberg may have thought his time with the New Jersey Devils organization was at an end when the team bought him out over the summer.

Think again.

The 40-year-old Swede signed a professional try-out agreement with the AHL Albany Devils. Before you let your imagination get away with you, according to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Hedberg is in Albany to help with their goaltending depth problems.

“[Keith] Kinkaid is hurt and they needed another goalie and I was around and available, so here I am,” Hedberg said.

We last saw Hedberg in New York Rangers training camp battling Martin Biron for the backup job behind Henrik Lundqvist. Biron beat him out, but retired shortly thereafter.

If you’re thinking Hedberg is being warmed up to potentially take Martin Brodeur’s spot in New Jersey should they trade him, that can’t happen since Hedberg was bought out by the Devils.

Any player bought out by a team cannot play for that team during the season following the buyout. Hedberg can play for any of the other 29 teams this season, but can’t even be traded back to New Jersey.

DeBoer: Kovalchuk-less Devils have a big challenge

Peter DeBoer

New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer wasn’t trying to fool anyone today when asked about the departure of Ilya Kovalchuk for the KHL.

According to DeBoer, next season’s Devils team will be a far different version than the one that made it to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.

“Sure it’s different,” DeBoer said, per the Star-Ledger. “You take out a (Zach) Parise and you take out a Kovalchuk. Those are players who single-handedly can do some things that only a handful of players in the world can do. We’re going to have to be a different team.

“We’re going to have to play more of a team game. Our five-man units and our systems are going to have to be air tight. Our special teams are going to have to be better. Goaltending is going to have to be top notch like it has been. There is going to be an emphasis on all those areas because you’re taking out a couple game-breaking players.”

The Devils missed the playoffs in 2013 (though they were perhaps a bit unlucky in that regard), so clearly they have a pretty big challenge facing them next season.

They should, however, be better in one area, and that’s goaltending. You’ll recall that Martin Brodeur was hurt for a lengthy stretch of this past season, during which Johan Hedberg really struggled to fill in. And let’s be honest, Brodeur wasn’t exactly unbeatable when he was healthy, finishing with a save percentage of just .901.

Now, after Cory Schneider came over from Vancouver, the Devils have a legitimate competition for the starting job.

DeBoer didn’t know Devs were trading for Schneider


The Cory Schneider-to-New Jersey trade caught a lot of people off guard.

Including some within the Devils organization.

Like head coach Peter DeBoer, for example. On Monday, DeBoer said he had no idea his team was going to acquire the Vancouver netminder — even though he was at the draft.

“No I didn’t know. It was a surprise to me until Lou [Lamoriello, Devils GM] came down to our end of the table and told me,” DeBoer told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “It was a real pleasant surprise, obviously. I don’t think it’s any secret that everybody has been wondering what is going to happen next at such a key position.”

While an amusing anecdote, it’s not too surprising.

Lamoriello is notoriously secretive and, at times, basically non-communicative when it comes to discussing player transactions, negotiations and contracts.

On that note, neither of the Devils’ goalies at the time — Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg — knew the Schneider deal was going down; Brodeur said he was “shocked” by the trade while Hedberg said he was caught off guard.

There’s also the not-so-small issue of New Jersey hosting the draft.

Had word leaked of the trade prior to Sunday’s selection, there’s a decent chance Devils fans — who were lined up to watch the club select ninth overall — would’ve stayed away.

Why show up if there’s no drama?

Finally, there’s the notion that while this deal was hatched prior to the draft, pulling the trigger happened quickly.

It could’ve been contingent on Bo Horvat being available at No. 9 for Vancouver to select; it could’ve also been one of those deals with a small window of opportunity.

The latter is the way DeBoer saw it, and he praised his boss for pouncing on the chance.

“When you look around the league starting goaltenders in their prime are few and far between. And they usually don’t get moved,” he explained.

“I think it was a unique opportunity and Lou jumped on it.”

Isles re-sign G Poulin

Kevin Poulin

The New York Islanders have re-signed goalie Kevin Poulin to a one-year, two-way deal, the team announced on Monday.

Poulin, 23, has appeared in 21 games with the Isles since being selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

His career on Long Island started well — he went 4-2-1 with a 2.44 GAA and .924 save percentage in his rookie year — but has flatlined lately. He had an average 2011-12 (2-4-0, 3.04 GAA, .907 save percentage) and an equally mediocre 2013 (1-3, 3.02 GAA, .893 save percentage).

That said, the former QMJHL Victoriaville standout will have a shot to be Evgeni Nabokov’s full-time backup in 2013-14.

With Rick DiPietro gone and Anders Nilsson coming off a so-so year with AHL Bridgeport, the door is open for Poulin to be the full-time No. 2.

That said, GM Garth Snow could opt for a more experienced presence behind Nabokov.

The Islanders aren’t exactly pressed for cap space (approximately $22 million away from the ceiling) and there are a number of veteran goalies still available: Jose Theodore, Chris Mason and Johan Hedberg, to name a few.

Big names still to be had on Day 2 of free agency

Mikhail Grabovski

Yesterday was a monster day for signings as free agency kicked off. As you’ll see in our free agent tracker, there were a lot of players finding new addresses to play next season.

Not everyone is off the board yet and there are quite a few big names still left to be had. Who might we see go this weekend? Soak it in.

The best value and talent might be found amongst the forwards with these five standing out:

Mikhail Grabovski
Derek Roy
Jaromir Jagr
Damien Brunner
Teemu Selanne

You’d have to think for Selanne it’s Anaheim or retirement, but hey, Daniel Alfredsson showed you can do whatever you want and probably get a lot of grief for it.

If you’re itching for a defenseman or goalie, things get a bit riskier there.

Amongst the blue liners, there’s Marek Zidlicky, Douglas Murray, Ryan Whitney, Joe Corvo, Wade Redden, and Ian White. Each player has a role they fill, but you’re not changing the outlook of your team with them.

The same could be said of the goalies left to pick from: Ilya Bryzgalov, Tim Thomas, Jose Theodore, and Johan Hedberg are still out there.

If a solid backup is what you need, Hedberg or Theodore is your man. If you want to shake up the ranks, however, Bryz and Thomas are as good as it gets.