The Devils didn't waste any time finding replacements for Paul Martin and they upgraded their goaltending depth in the process.
The Devils signed former Penguins/Thrashers goaltender Johan Hedberg to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. In 47 games last season, Hedberg had a record of 21-16-6, 2.62 goals against average, .915 save percentage and three shutouts.
New Jersey also made a significant splash on defense signing former Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov, considered the best defensive defensman in the market, and former Sabres blue liner, Henrik Tallinder.
Volchenkov's deal for for six years and a total of $25.5 million. His annual salary cap hit will be $4.25 million and he has a no-trade clause. In 64 games, Volchenkov, 28, recorded 14 points (four goals, 14 assists), was a plus-2 and blocked 172 shots, eighth-best in the NHL.
Tallinder's deal is for four years and a total of $13.5 million. He will have a salary cap hit of $3.37 million. In 82 games, Tallinder, 31, recorded 20 points (four goals, 16 points) and was a plus-13.
EN Says: Solid moves by the Devils. They probably didn't replace what Martin offers offensively, but they definitely upgraded the defensive side of things. There isn't anyone better in the NHL at blocking shots and preventing offensive opportunities than Volchenkov. And at $4.25 million per season, he's more than affordable. That said, the term of his contract is a little concerning. He'll be 34 by the time it expires. Considering the way he plays, he'll probably be an "old" 34 by that time.
Tallinder is a nice depth signing. He's not particularly outstanding in any area, but he's a competent player who will eat plenty of minutes and not make too many mistakes. He's a bit old at 31, but he will improve the Devils defense.
Hedberg is a very interesting signing. He's not a typical New Jersey back up goaltender who will play eight games and carry Martin Brodeur's bags. Hedberg is a guy who can play 20 or 30 games a season. Perhaps this is the season the Devils finally make Brodeur less his workload in order to keep him fresh come playoff time. This certain is a move which would suggest that approch.
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