The Rangers trimmed their training camp roster to 39 players on Wednesday, releasing veteran goaltender Johan Hedberg from his PTO and assigning five other players to the club's AHL Hartford Wolf Pack affiliate. The five sent to Hartford's training camp were forwards Ryan Bourque, Josh Nicholls, Michael St. Croix, and Shawn O'Donnell, and defenseman Brendon Nash.
The move involving Hedberg was partly decided upon by the 40 year-old netminder. Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault explained to reporters on Wednesday that after deciding on a limited opportunity for Hedberg to play on the team's four-games-in-five-nights sojourn to Western Canada and Las Vegas next week, he gave Hedberg the opportunity to decide if he wanted to still take part in the trip and the rest of training camp. When Hedberg decided not to, the Rangers officially released him from his PTO.
"I called Johan this morning and told him there's a possibility (he) might get half a game, but there's also a possibility he might not get a game," explained Vigneault. "He's a veteran player, a guy that is well respected across the league, so I wanted him to hear it from me what was the scenario and I left the decision up to him. He decided to stay back."
Vigneault stated that Henrik Lundqvist would play the entire game Monday in Calgary and next Thursday in Vancouver, and that Martin Biron would go the distance Tuesday in Edmonton. As far as the pre-season finale against the Los Angeles Kings next Friday in Las Vegas, Vigneault said he was still not sure what the goaltending plan is.
Cam Talbot, who has appeared in the first two pre-season games for the Rangers, will be the third goalie making the trip out west. He has allowed three goals in roughly 60 minutes of pre-season play against the Devils and Flyers, so far.
"He made a big save last night (late in the third period), and that's what a goaltender's all about," Vigneault said of the 26 year-old Talbot. "Sometimes you need to make that one save to give your team a chance to win the game, and that's what he did."
Of the 39 players remaining on the training camp roster there are 23 forwards---including Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin, who are both limited following off-season shoulder surgeries, 13 defensemen, and the three goalies.