A woman showed up for minor league hockey at legendary Boardwalk Hall on Friday night wearing a Johan Hedberg road Devils jersey and carrying a handmade "We Miss You Moose" sign. Her seat couldn’t have better, front row to the right of the Albany Devils bench and, although separated by glass, directly next to her out-of-retirement-for-a-weekend hero. Nearby, another woman sat wearing Moose antlers. Known for being a great guy, Hedberg not only acknowledged his fans with smiles and waves, but the Swede also poked his head around the glass from time to time to chat during the A-Devils' 3-2 shootout loss to the Hershey Bears. What fun it was for Hedberg being back in uniform and back on the ice, but this seemingly out-of-nowhere gig doesn’t appear to be a last-ditched effort to restart his playing career at age 40. No, that's not what this is appears to be at all. "I'm going to be here until Sunday and then I'm going home," Hedberg told NJ.com Friday after backing up Scott Wedgewood. Home now to the Swede is a 30-minute drive west of Newark. After losing his job last summer as backup goalie to Devils legend Martin Brodeur, Hedberg has been living in Jersey all season working as a Devils scout, and his new gig simply took on a jack-of-all-trades assignment this weekend. "Right now I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and help out in whatever fashion I can," Hedberg said. "This happens to be one of them." When Albany Devils starting goalie Keith Kinkaid suffered a groin injury last week, Moose agreed to suit up for three games this weekend even though he hasn’t been skating since September when he went to training camp with the Rangers and was waived. “When Keith went down, they needed a body to fill the net and it ended up being me,” Hedberg said. This weekend’s plans, however, apparently could be more than serving as emergency backup because it appears a plan is in place for Hedberg to be in goal either Saturday in Albany against Adirondack or Sunday in Bridgeport. Playing could be a last hurrah as well as a chance to see if hitting the ice again rekindles an inner desire to take one more shot at continuing his playing career because it seems Hedberg isn't 100 percent sold on being a retired player.
Johan Hedberg, new Devils scout, doing job this weekend as AHL backup goalie
Newark Star-Ledger | Feb 15