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Hours after losing Paul Martin to Penguins, Devils sign Tallinder and Volchenkov

NEWARK, N.J. - Hours after losing Paul Martin to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New Jersey Devils quickly replaced him by signing veteran defencemen Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov.

New Jersey also added a new backup goalie, signing veteran Johan Hedberg to play behind Martin Brodeur.

Don Meehan, Tallinder's agent, confirmed on Thursday that the Swede had agreed to a US$13.5-million contract on the first day of the NHL's free agent signing period.

Devils president Lou Lamoriello confirmed the signings of Volchenkov and Hedberg.

Volchenkov spent the past seven seasons with the Ottawa Senators. He agreed to a six-year deal for $25.5 million.

Hedberg, who played with Atlanta last season, got a one-year, $1.5 million deal.

All three moves came after Martin signed a five-year, $25 million contract with Atlantic Division-rival Pittsburgh. Martin had earned $4.5 million in the final injury-plagued season of his contract with New Jersey.

The 31-year-old Tallinder had four goals and 16 assists in 82 games last season with Buffalo. The stay-at-home defenceman has 20 career goals and 88 assists in seven seasons with the Sabres.

Volchenkov, 28, is a tough defensive-minded defenceman, who has 16 goals and 78 assists in his NHL career.

Hedberg went 21-16-6 with a 2.62 goals-against average. He will replace Yann Danis.


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