Updated: The Devils announced the signing, and some more information has been released.
After losing defenseman Paul Martin to free agency, the Devils acted immediately and signed former Buffalo Sabres defender Henrik Tallinder for 4 years worth $13.5 million. Both Tallinder's salary and the Devils' cap hit is $3.375m per season through the 2013-2014 season. The Devils announced the official signing of Tallinder along with defenseman Anton Volchenkov. From the article, Lou Lamoriello states the veteran presence with their size will no doubt help the Devils defense. Per Gulitti, here's more on what Lou said about Tallinder:
In Tallinder, you’ve got somebody 6-4, 240, played under an outstanding coach (Lindy Ruff in Buffalo), mentored (Tyler) Myers in Buffalo this years. We’ve got three young Swedish players coming in (Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby and Alexander Urbom). He’s 31 years old. He’s in his prime. He’s a mature guy.
Well, if you're wondering why Lou made this move, there's your answer. The Swede played in the SEL, like Josefson and Tedendy, before his move to the NHL and will be a mentor to Devils top defensive prospect Alexander Urbom (Urbom and Tallinder are from the same town). He's got a big frame and with only 32 PIMs last season, he knows how to use it. He played in front of Ryan Miller, so playing in front of a Marty shouldn't be a problem.
He's showed some durability as well. Tallinder played all 82 games last season, accumulating 4 goals and 16 assists and a plus-13 rating. To learn more, I recommend reading Die by the Blade's Report Card on Tallinder, which has a lot of good information on him. He played on the top pair alongside rising rookie Tyler Myers, and posted the 2nd highest QualComp among Buffalo defensemen per Behind The Net (behind Myers).
He was a Sabres 2nd round draft pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, so this is a new experience for him. He's not moving far, which is good for his family and loved ones. Also from Die by the Blade, he tends to lose the puck more than take it. He also does not shoot the puck a lot, and when he does, tends to miss. This doesn't sounds very good, but you have to take the good with the bad.
Personally, I really like this signing. He got a small increase from last year's salary per CapGeek, and the contract ends when he turns 35. He's got great size, blocks shots, and will help Josefson, Tedenby, and Urbom adapt to playing in the NHL. He's a veteran player who can be trusted on the blue line. I think for his price, the Devils did very well here. Lou saw the connection between Tallinder and the Devils' prospects and realized the opportunity here. Along with Volchenkov, these signings certainly make the Devils defense strong and deep. If UFA Mike Mottau isn't re-signed, this is better than a replacement.
Here's some game highlights of Tallinder put together by NJDTV
What do you think of the signing? You like it? You hate it? Something to add or I missed. Some quotes and more are most likely coming, so I'll update it again later on.