NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Devils opened free agency on Friday by re-signing defenseman Andy Greene and backup goaltender Johan Hedberg.
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello did not disclose terms of the deals, but Greene received a new four-year contract and the 38-year-old Hedberg snared a one-year deal to back up Martin Brodeur.
Dan Plante, Greene’s agent, said in a telephone call with The Associated Press, that four teams called to inquire about signing the defenseman when they decided to finalize the contract with New Jersey.
“That was the plan all along,” Plante said. “You have to find common ground and it took a while.”
Lamoriello called Greene one of the Devils’ top four defenseman. He played in all 82 games last season, collecting four goals and 19 assists.
However, Greene had a minus-23 rating, meaning opposing teams scored 23 more times than the Devils did when he was on the ice. Entering his sixth NHL season, Greene has 15 goals and 70 assists in 291 career regular-season games.
“I don’t think,” Lamoriello said, “last year was indicative of the years he has played for us.”
Lamoriello had hoped to get Greene’s deal completed before free agency started at noon on Friday.
“Until it’s done you are always concerned,” Lamoriello said. “That’s with everything you do.”
Hedberg posted a 15-12-2 mark with a 2.38 goals-against average in 34 games. He had three shutouts in 27 starts in his first season in New Jersey.
“Hedberg, what he did for us — both on the ice and off the ice — speaks for itself,” Lamoriello said.
Hedberg has a career mark of 138-126-31 with 17 shutouts and 2.88 goals-against average in 327 games over nine seasons with Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Dallas, Atlanta, and New Jersey.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.