Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Biron wins big deal in Philly

"It's a little more than I wanted to spend. But I don't think we could afford to let it get to July. I don't think we would have lost him, but it could have been risky."
When you're flailing at the bottom of the NHL standings by a solid 12 points, you really don't have much leverage when it comes to signing free agents. It's the reason Martin Havlat scored a bloated deal from Chicago, Ed Jovanovski got a princely sum in Phoenix and Zdeno Chara ran laughing to the bank in Beantown.

It's also the reason a 29-year-old netminder who has only had three 50+ game seasons in his career got a nice raise yesterday in Philadelphia.

Biron's now the 12th-highest paid goaltender in the league, despite only starting 59 games since 2003-04 and never finishing higher than 19th in wins, goals-against average or save percentage since playing 72 games for the Sabres back in 2001-02.

Holmgren based his decision to ink Biron on three things: a) the netminder's 10-game audition in a Flyers uniform, b) the fact he forfeited a second-round pick to get him for the team's nonexistent stretch run, and c) well, based on this season, the Flyers really needed a goalie.

Biron has been decent so far as a Flyer, posting a 4-5-1 record with a relatively high GAA (2.96) and decent save percentage (.913). How he fares in backstopping a Philadelphia team likely to be loaded with a few top-end UFA signings remains to be seen, but there's just one thing Flyers fans should keep in mind: Since entering the NHL in 1995-96, Biron has played exactly zero minutes in the postseason.

So much for finding the answer to the one position that has been the team's weak point since the days of Bernie Parent.

Although, at this rate, Holmgren is likely looking to simply get out of the basement, regardless of the outcome — or the price.

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At 2:17 a.m., March 28, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

He also has 16 wins this year which is more then Esche, Nittymaki, Leighton and Houle combined for in a Flyers uniform this season. I am still not completely convinced that Biron has the consistency to be a great #1 goalie but he should be a huge improvement over anything the Flyers have had for several years now and will give Nittymaki more time to develop under much less pressure than he has been the past 2 seasons.

At 10:38 a.m., March 28, 2007, Blogger Black Dog said...

Weak point since Bernie Parent?

Pelle Lindburgh?

Ron Hextall?

At 1:53 p.m., March 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marty is probably the fifth best goalie in the east...

At 2:16 p.m., March 28, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

Martin's a good guy. I'm happy for him. I hope he'll have lots of on-ice success next season that'll make this deal look like a bargain for the Flyers.

At 3:42 p.m., March 28, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

Given that the bidding for Giguere is likely to get silly in a hurry, this was probably a good move for the Flyers. The runner-up in the Giguere sweepstakes likely would have targeted Biron, driving the price even higher.

At 7:07 p.m., March 28, 2007, Anonymous Eric said...

"Marty is probably the fifth best goalie in the east..."

How do you figure that? I'd pretty comfortably take Brodeur, Lundqvist, Miller, DiPietro, Kolzig, Lehtonen, Emery & Huet ahead of him. That's not even mentioning Fleury & Ward, who could also pass him pretty darn soon.

At 12:03 a.m., March 29, 2007, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

Cam Ward, meet Flash in Pan.

At 1:15 p.m., March 30, 2007, Anonymous Scai said...

That trade didn't make any sense whatsoever. For 3,5 mio a year Holmgren could have and should have signed Biron on the open market in July and kept the 2ndrounder to himself.


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