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Thursday, September 12, 2013
Stepan, Biron absent for Day 2

By Katie Strang

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Derek Stepan and Martin Biron missed their second straight day of training camp on Thursday. Neither player was in attendance for the first day of on-ice activity at MSG training center in Westchester.

Stepan's camp has maintained that he will not report to camp without a contract, and the 23-year-old restricted free agent remains unsigned. The Rangers play their first preseason game on Monday against the Devils.

Stepan's good friend and teammate Ryan McDonagh said he has been in touch with him and has instructed him to stay positive. McDonagh said he's "confident" the situation will be resolved and that Stepan will be embraced with "open arms."

Biron is absent due to what a team spokesperson described Wednesday as "personal reasons." He is not listed among the five goaltenders slated to take the ice with the fourth group this afternoon.

In Biron's absence, Ex-Devil Johan Hedberg will skate with Henrik Lundqvist and the team's goaltending prospects. Hedberg signed a professional tryout to join the Rangers in training camp.