What the Martin Biron signing with the New York Rangers means for the NHL.

 

Last week, goalie Martin Biron signed a two-year, $2.6 million contract to remain with the New York Rangers.

The Buffalo Sabres 16th overall pick in the 1995 draft has become quite the journeyman in the Atlantic Division. He’s played for the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Rangers. He’s also played over 500 career NHL games.

But, how much of an impact does his new two-year contract have on the rest of the NHL?

For starters, this takes one of the league’s top backup goalies off the market. Though he’s aging (34), he might still be able to carry the load for a team.

Some teams, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, seem to be in the market for a starting goaltender. His numbers aren’t going to make the NHL top 10. However, with more consistent playing time, he could decrease his 2.46 goals against average and raise his save percentage from last season’s .904 mark.

Secondly, it makes the New York Rangers that much harder to play against. The team has bought into Coach John Tortorella’s style of play and the organization has done a great job in grooming NHL-ready defensemen capable of big minutes.

Add that to a 20-start capable backup, and Henrik Lundqvist’s numbers - 62 games, 39 wins, and a 1.97 goals against average, good for the Vezina Trophy - and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Rangers are on top of the Eastern Conference standings.

Skilled, consistent goaltending is hit or miss in the NHL but the Rangers seemed to hit the jackpot with this goalie tandem. Expect them to keep playing tight defensively and the team’s goals against numbers to remain low.

According to CapGeek.com Biron’s contract will pay him $1.3 million for each of the next two seasons.

Is Biron still capable of being a starter? It doesn’t look like we’ll find out anytime soon.

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