The New York Rangers cut down their roster to 39 players for their trip to Canada. This included waiving veteran goaltender Johan Hedberg, which all but guarantees that Martin Biron will be the backup goalie this year.
Biron came to camp two days late due to personal reasons. The Rangers brought in Hedberg just in case Biron was not ready to start the season. The other goalie still traveling with the team is Cam Talbot. He was the No. 1 goalie for the Rangers’ AHL affiliate last season. He will likely be sent down to the AHL again in order to get more playing time.
Biron is a solid backup goaltender. He is not the youngest player in the league anymore, but he can still get the job done. Henrik Lundqvist is as competitive as they get, but he will need rest during the year. Every team usually needs a solid backup goaltender in order to keep their starter fresh for the grind that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
John Tortorella, the former coach of the Rangers, always used to say that having a backup goaltender is very crucial for a team. New coach Alain Vigneault also stressed the need to have a good backup goalie for the team this season. If a team can keep their starting goalie to around 60 starts a year, they will likely be fresher and ready to go come April, May and June. Biron and Lundqvist form one of the better goalie tandems in the NHL.
The Rangers are starting to make changes to get their roster ready for the season. Keeping Biron was the right move for the organization.