Goalie was expendable after Caron signing

Updated: August 26, 2003, 1:09 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins traded goaltender Johan Hedberg to the Vancouver Canucks on Monday for a second-round pick in the 2004 National Hockey League entry draft.

Hedberg has one-year left on his contract and appears headed for a backup role with Vancouver. The Canucks avoided arbitration with goaltender Dan Cloutier by signing him to a one-year contract last month.

Hedberg, 30, played in 41 games last season, posting a 14-22-4 record with a 3.13 goals-against average. He had been considered the Penguins' incumbent starter, although rookie Sebastien Caron drew much of the playing time in the second half of last season.

Caron, 23, was 7-14-2 with a 2.64 goals-against average in 24 appearances during his rookie season. The Penguins signed him to a four-year, $3.2 million contract Friday.

The Penguins' top draft pick this year, Marc-Andre Fleury, 18, is also a goalie. Fleury hasn't signed, although the Penguins say he'll be allowed to compete for a job with the NHL club -- not just for a spot in the minor leagues -- when camp begins Sept. 12.

The move means the Penguins have four goaltenders under contract with training camp a little less than three weeks away: Caron, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Andy Chiodo and Martin Brochu.

Cloutier is coming off the only back-to-back 30-win seasons in franchise history. He appeared in 57 regular-season games last year, finishing with a career-best 33-16-7 record, two shutouts and a 2.42 goals-against average.

Chiodo was the Penguins' seventh-round draft pick. Brochu has spent most of his career in the American Hockey League, but he played six games with the Vancouver Canucks during the 2001-02 season.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press