New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told The (Bergen) Record that injured goaltender Martin Brodeur likely will miss at least the next three games because of lingering back soreness.
Brodeur has not skated since Feb. 24, when he pulled himself out of warmups prior to a home game against the Winnipeg Jets. Lamoriello said Brodeur has not had a setback in his recovery, but the injury is taking longer to heal than originally expected.
"It's the back," Lamoriello the newspaper. "It just hasn't come as quickly and we're going to make sure it's perfect."
Devils coach Peter DeBoer told the media Wednesday that he informed Lamoriello that Johan Hedberg would start against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
Lamoriello was busy Wednesday with several transactions. He returned forward Cam Janssen and goalie Keith Kinkaid to Albany of the American Hockey League and recalled goalie Jeff Frazee, who will serve as Hedberg's backup Thursday against the Sabres.
Kinkaid made his NHL debut Tuesday when he replaced Hedberg 13:13 into the second period. Kinkaid allowed one goal on 13 shots in a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Frazee, 25, is 7-9-4 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 21 games with Albany this season. He has never played in an NHL game.
The Devils also claimed forward Tom Kostopoulos off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lamoriello told The (Newark) Star-Ledger that Kostopoulos will play Thursday.
The Penguins signed Kostopoulos to a one-year, two-way contract Tuesday, but he had to clear waivers to join the club officially. The Devils grabbed him instead.
Kostopoulos had seven points in 17 AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this season. He was playing on a professional tryout contract.