Expect AV to bring in his type of players

September 17, 2013, by
Hedberg could have a shot at winning the backup role (Photo: AP)

Hedberg could have a shot at winning the backup role (Photo: AP)

This past offseason Glen Sather kept this roster pretty much intact in hopes that Alain Vineault and his new coaching staff would be the difference makers to get this team over the hump. With that said, any time a team changes coaches there’s always going to be some roster turnover that follows.

At this point we don’t know what system AV has in store for the Rangers, though Nash vaguely remarked “defense first” which obviously can mean a lot of different things and Girardi mentioned “four man rushes, same as Torts”. However, we do know that AV has a starkly different personality than Torts and will certainly bring a different approach to dealing with his players one-on-one. More often than not, it’s personalities and TOI that generally cause players and coaches to gel or jive, not the x’s and o’s. After all, most players at this level can adapt to different systems and formations.

So turnover is inevitable. And to think that every current Ranger is going to fit is a bit naive.

While I expected some guys to be moved a bit more into the season, perhaps the process has already begun. Martin Biron missed a couple of days due to a “personal situation,” which sounded harmless at the time until AV revealed a lack of confidence in him during a post-camp practice. AV elaborated,

“We need a backup goaltender that can play and win us some games. That’s part of the equation to get into the playoffs, and to have a (number one) goaltender that come playoff time has got some energy and some jump in his legs. Martin is aware of that—we had that discussion when he first got here. And if we brought in Hedberg, it’s obviously to give him a chance.”

AV went on to say that he’s looking for a backup goalie who can play 15-20 games. The last time there was an 82 game season Biron appeared in 21 of them, posting a 12-6-2 record. ¬†While I expect Biron to win the job over a 40 year old Hedberg, it’s still interesting that AV is even considering Hedberg over Marty given Biron’s solid career as a Ranger.

But this is what happens and Marty won’t be the last guy to find himself on the fringe.¬†Minutes are going to be shifted, roles are going to change and some of these guys aren’t going to like it. The question is, will the fans be able to handle turnover?

Fans often fear change and we know who they usually point fingers at when things don’t go as planned. But give it time. There’s a learning curve for all of us and it’s going to be a process. Let’s see that process through.

Categories : Coaching


  1. Puck Luck (@Centerman21) says:

    I’m sure there’s going to be a change in personnel as time passes by. It’s not crazy to think a trade of prospects is possible this season. Someone AV doesn’t see fitting in or to fill a need on the top 2 lines. In a few years there might not be as many 2 way players on the team. There’s Definately going to be some change in draft phylosophies too.

  2. Sally says:

    Isn’t Hedberg 40 yrs old?

  3. Bloomer says:

    AV has a tendency of being out-coached in big games. Also, he need to improve the way he prepares his team for the regular season. This isn’t the West where you can fall behind in the standings and make it up with a run of points against crappy teams. Change is find if its for the better, I am not convinced AV is the best fit in New York. Time will tell.

  4. Mikeyyy says:

    These preseason games will define who gets turned over.

    With the stepan situation these games are more about who gets cleared out for the cap space to sign him.

    Same goes for our d corps. Can clear out cap there too.

    It really comes down to price point analysis to see who goes

  5. Justin says:

    I just don’t understand how AV’s staff could draw the conclusion that Hedberg is better than Biron…

    • Evan M says:

      I don’t think he’s concluded that. Maybe he thought Biron was a little too comfortable and wants to light a little fire. I fully expect (FWIW) that Biron is the backup this year.

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        Exactly. Competition. That’s what we’ve all been asking for come camp. It applies to the goaltenders as well.

  6. TxRanger says:

    AV is trying to get Biron motivated to play well, that’s all.

  7. AD says:

    I don’t think the backup goalie position was one of the top 5 converns coming into training camp, so I really do not know what to make of this situation. I don’t know if it is related to Biron’s “personal situation” that he tended to and which required him to miss a day or so of camp; or Sather saying the club may have to trade Biron and cut/save salary cap space. There are many teams in need of quality backups, which Biron certainly is.