Henrik Tallinder is going back to where it all began, in Buffalo. (USATSI)
Henrik Tallinder is going back to where it all began, in Buffalo. (USATSI)

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The New Jersey Devils spent some good money on the first day of free agency, signing both Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder, getting them closer to the cap with some RFAs like Adam Henrique still yet to re-sign. So on Sunday they got some relief.

The Devils announced that they traded defenseman Henrik Tallinder to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Riley Boychuk. For Tallinder it's a return to Buffalo, where he played the first 468 games of his NHL career.

"We are excited to have Henrik back in the mix on our blue line," Sabres GM Darcy Regier said. "His experience will be invaluable not only in adding more stability to our back end, but also in the development of some of our younger defensemen."

While the Sabres are getting a veteran defenseman to help with their young group of guys going forward, this amounts to nothing more than a salary dump for the Devils. Tallinder has one season left on his contract that has a salary cap hit of $3.375 million. Not to mention it clears a little room for some of New Jersey's defensive prospects to play more.

Meanwhile Boychuk, a former seventh-round pick by the Sabres in 2010, spent the past season between the ECHL and the CHL -- not the Canadian Hockey League but the Central Hockey League.

Tallinder was limited to just 25 games this past season, scoring a goal with three assists in an average of 17:34 per game. The last full season he played was in 2010-11 with New Jersey, and he had five goals to go with 11 assists.

Buffalo is interested in trying to get a veteran presence around its youngsters as the rebuild begins, and Tallinder will provide that along with a tough, own-zone player. For Regier, the contract hit is a fair price to pay for that.