The New Jersey Devils stole the show yesterday at the 2013 NHL Draft held at the Prudential Center in Newark. They traded away their first round draft pick to the Vancouver Canucks for goaltender Cory Schneider. With Schneider now coming to New Jersey it makes their goaltending situation for the future less questionable than before. The organization is extremely excited for Cory's arrival except for one player, Johan Hedberg.
Johan had a rough season last year when Martin Brodeur went down with a back injury. Although it wasn’t his best season, he is still a very reliable backup goaltender in this league. He is also a great teammate and well respected in the locker room. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello will have to sit down with Hedberg within the next few days to discuss the future of his career because Hedberg does have a no trade clause in his contract. rnrnIf Johan elects to waive his no trade clause, here are some teams that I could see him going to.
Coming off of a 17-1-0 season, Ray Emery was found riding the bench for the Blackhawks during their run to winning a second Stanley Cup in four years. Philadelphia is expected to make a big push for Emery to come back for another stint in the black and orange during free agency. If Emery does move on to a new team, Hedberg would be a great backup to Crawford who will look to increase his work load this season.
Pekka Rinne is one of the best goalies in the league right now, and he plays a lot of games for the Predators. Along with the many games he will start for Nashville he is in a battle with Boston's Tuukka Rask to start for Finland in the 2014 Winter Olympics. With no backup goalie signed for next season, Hedberg could be a great goalie to give Rinne some much needed rest during the back to back games during the season.
Oh boy do the Flames need help in net with Miikka Kiprusoff retiring. Adding Hedberg would help them out in the short term while they search for a long term solution. I doubt Hedberg would waive his NTC to go to Calgary though.
This is a highly unlikely circumstance as the Flyers will desperately try to sign either Emery, Nabokov, or even trade for a goalie. But if they miss in free agency and cannot find a suitable trade partner for a goalie, then look for Holmgren to be taking a drive up the Turnpike to request for Hedberg's services.
I do feel bad for Hedberg, because he has been a great back up for the Devils during his time in New Jersey. It's unfortunate that if he cannot be traded he will have to be bought out of the remaining one year on his contract, and his career could potentially be over if no one offers him a contract. I do hope that he lands in a good environment with the potential to play some meaningful games. Best of luck "Moooose"