The New Jersey Devils plan to use a compliance buyout on goaltender Johan Hedberg, general manager Lou Lamoriello told The (Bergen) Record.
"[It was] without question one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to be faced with, with your heart and your head, because of the quality person he is," Lamoriello said Thursday.
Hedberg was placed on unconditional waivers, in advance of the 5 p.m. Thursday deadline required to use the buyout, the newspaper said. The 40-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent.
"I have no comment today," Hedberg told NJ.com.
The Devils were unable to trade Hedberg this week after acquiring goaltender Cory Schneider in a trade from the Vancouver Canucks at the 2013 NHL Draft on Sunday. Schneider and Martin Brodeur are expected to split goaltending duties for the Devils in 2013-14.
"It's not [Johan's] fault this transaction took place," Lamoriello said. "It was [a trade] that we had the opportunity to make, and for the franchise it had to be done. We tried for the last two days to get whatever scenario there was in [Johan's] best interest and we were unsuccessful.
“He had a no-trade [clause], so we've been working together, but we had to do this (buy him out) today."
Hedberg started 13 games in a row for the Devils this season when Brodeur was injured. Hedberg finished 6-10-3 with a 2.76 GAA and .883 save percentage.
Hedberg was due to make $1.4 million in 2013, and that value will be cleared from the Devils' 2013-14 salary cap.
"There's no question in my mind there should [be opportunties for him], and there's no question in my mind that he's the type of individual that when he does stop playing we would want in our organization," Lamoriello said.
The Devils on Thursday announced they had agreed to terms on contracts with forwards Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus.