The New Jersey Devils re-signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Johan Hedberg today, bringing back a fan favorite and filling their need for a backup goalie.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Hedberg made $1.5 million, including bonuses, last season.
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello wanted to re-sign Hedberg, and opened talks a few weeks ago. The two sides couldn't reach an agreement, and Hedberg hit the free agent market. He had interest from several teams, but chose to remain in New Jersey.
"There was interest, which is great," Hedberg told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. "It's flattering, but with everything accounted for, I felt good about coming back here. That was my first choice and when everything worked out and it felt like we were able to find some good ground I felt good about coming back."
Hedberg went 15-12-2 with a career best 2.38 goals-against average, .921 save percentage and three shutouts. He received other offers for backup positions, and some could give him more playing time. He knew a healthy Martin Brodeur would significantly decrease his games played, but it didn't change his mind.
"I wouldn't say anyone called me to be their go-to guy, no," he told Gulitti. "But there were some options that were maybe in that category (of having a chance for more playing time). I never make predictions before a season starts about how many games. You never know."