Johan Hedberg buyout: Devils goaltender placed on unconditional waivers

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

With a crowded crease, the New Jersey Devils ultimately decided to buy out Johan Hedberg.

The New Jersey Devils have placed goaltender Johan Hedberg on unconditional waivers with the intention of administering a compliance buyout, according to multiple reports on Thursday afternoon.

Hedberg had one-year remaining on a two-year, $2.8 million contract that carried an annual average salary of $1.4 million against the salary cap. He will be paid an annual allotment of $466,666 for two-years as part of the buyout process.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are permitted two compliance buyouts that remove a player's salary from their salary cap allotment without penalty. This option was created due to the declining nature of the salary cap for the 2013-14 season, as well as a way to adjust to new contractual rules in the collective bargaining agreement that eliminated front- or back-loaded contracts.

However, these issues did not play a factor in Hedberg's buyout. New Jersey's goaltending situation drastically changed following the acquisition of Cory Schneider at the 2013 NHL Draft. Manager Lou Lamoriello attempted to trade Hedberg but was unable to find a willing partner.

This ultimately resulted in the decision to use a compliance buyout.

Hedberg will now become an unrestricted free agent eligible to sign with any team of his choosing (with the exception of the Devils). Free agency begins Friday at noon, ET.

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