Biron vs Hedberg for backup

Marty Biron hopes to be all smiles in camp battle with Johan Hedberg.

Marty Biron hopes to be all smiles in camp battle with Johan Hedberg.

Leave it to Alain Vigneault to spice things up with our backup goalie. He brought Johan Hedberg into camp to challenge Marty Biron. You had to figure something was up. Why else would Moose be on a PTO?

In an Olympic year, AV emphasized wanting to have a capable backup who can get into between 15 to 20 games. A wise strategic plan given the commitment Henrik Lundqvist has playing for Sweden in Sochi. This isn’t a normal year and shouldn’t be treated like one. Perhaps that’s why the Rangers boast more depth than what we saw under John Tortorella. Tortorella didn’t exactly enjoy playing everyone. He frequently pared down to three lines and four defensemen in third periods. That can wear on your top players.

As for the goalie competition, it is kind of unfair to Biron. But that’s the nature of the beast. As usual, the likeable netminder has embraced the challenge.

“The organization has to do what it thinks is best,” Biron told reporters after yesterday’s practice. “Moose [Hedberg] is a great guy, and I got to talk to him this morning, and we kind of joked around a little bit, but I’m here; I’m here and focused.

“Whatever I need to do, I’m going to do. I’m 100 percent ready to compete and give everything I’ve got for the guys and the team.”

You wonder if this isn’t Glen Sather searching for every extra penny to re-sign Derek Stepan. Stepan is willing to take a bridge deal, which should speed up talks. Hopefully, that gets resolved soon.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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