It's been ten years since Johan Hedberg played in the American Hockey League, but the 40-year-old goaltender might see that streak come to end after signing a professional tryout contract with the Albany Devils on Thursday.
With a lower-body injury preventing Keith Kinkaid from playing, Hedberg joined the team yesterday, taking part in practice at Times Union Center.
The signing of Hedberg, who the Devils bought out over the summer after acquiring Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks, is just the latest in goaltender news that has followed the organization all season long.
"I really wasn't sure what it was,"Hedberg said according to the Albany Devils website. "I thought I was just going to practice today, but they might need me over the weekend. At the same time, I was excited and it's going to be a lot of fun to play a game- if that happens."
The Devils have three games over the next three days, beginning tonight when they host the Hershey Bears at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall, so there's a good shot Hedberg will get in for at least one of them after getting some practice time in with the Devils' squad. Scott Wedgewood is slotted to be between the pipes tonight.
"He's a veteran guy, so you can see how comfortable he looks in there," Head Coach Rick Kowalsky said. "He hasn't skated a whole bunch, but has certainly been on the ice and he was still involved in training camp. So we get him on the ice today, get him on the ice tomorrow and maybe, hopefully, get him on the ice Saturday and go from there."
The Sweden native spent the previous three seasons with the New Jersey Devils, posting a 38-29-7 record in his 80 appearances. In his overall NHL career, he collected 161 wins with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage in 373 contests.
Hedberg was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1994 but was never invited to camp like they promised they would if he made the Swedish national team, which he did.