Johan Hedberg was placed on unconditional waivers today with the intent to be bought out, as reported by Rich Chere at NJ.com. Over at Fire & Ice, Tom Gulitti confirmed that it will be a compliance buyout, so it will not count against the team's salary cap. Hedberg will be paid $933,333 over the next two seasons to not play for the New Jersey Devils. I would have expected a normal buyout since the Devils have eaten larger dead-cap hits in the past. I suppose the Devils are planning to save as much space as possible for July 5 and the season beyond since the Devils wanted to clear a potential hit of below $1 million from the cap.
This is a sad way to go for Moose, but the writing was on the wall the moment the Devils acquired Cory Schneider on Sunday. I wrote his days were numbered just after the trade, and today the proverbial other shoe dropped. All immediate indications revealed that Hedberg was a pleasant enough fellow (example Tweet from Gulitti), he was the 2012 Players' Player as voted by his teammates, and it wasn't an easy decision for Lou to make on a personal level. Yet, this is a business and he had to go by some means. A trade was sought out but there was either no deal available or any deal Hedberg would waive his no trade clause for.
The Devils clearly are better with Schneider and Martin Brodeur as the goalies than running with Brodeur-Hedberg again. I don't think there will be many complaints about the decision from a hockey perspective. In terms of Moose himself, this may be it for his career. The Flyers and Isles could use goaltending help and may be willing to hear him out should he want to stay local. Yet, 40 year old goalies aren't exactly in high demand, particularly ones with a reputation of being too much of an adventure when handling the puck. They and other teams may turn their interest elsewhere. All the same, thanks to Moose for the three seasons he played here, I'm sorry his last game was such a flop by the guys in front of him, and I wish him the best of luck for the future. Maybe he'll get to make a save like this one once again:
Please leave your thoughts about this decision by the Devils and your general thoughts about Hedberg as a Devil in the comments. Thank you for reading - and yes, there will shortly be a post about the more important news that just happened as I wrote this.