Goalies Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki Still in Search of New Home

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Goalies Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki Still in Search of New Home
(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

With the Philadelphia Flyers deciding to completely revamp their goaltender situation, goalies Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki became unrestricted free agents on Wednesday.

Biron started for the Flyers for the last two-plus seasons, posting a 65-47-16 record with a 2.79 GAA and a .914 SV %. The 6'2", 174-pound Biron was very solid for the Flyers and was the main reason for the team's playoff run in 2007-08.

The two likely destinations for the 31-year-old unrestricted free agent were the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers, who both were looking for a starting netminder.

According to reports, Biron was in contact with both teams, but the Oilers opted for Nikolai Khabibulin and the Av's for Craig Anderson.

It's now the weekend, and Marty remains unsigned. Rumor had it that the Los Angeles Kings offered him a contract to be their starting goalkeeper, and he is mulling the offer.

He could be waiting out the Jonas Gustafsson situation, and see if one of the losers of "The Monster" wants his services. I could see Toronto a real possibility. If they fail to court Gustafsson, they're in need of a good goalie and Marty could be the answer.

Rumors surfaced tonight that Niittymaki will either sign with the San Jose Sharks—if they fail to get Gustafsson—to back up goalie Evgeni Nabokov or head back to Europe to play.

The 29-year-old Finnish netminder has had many opportunities to be the No. 1 goalie in Philadelphia. He showed for a period of time in 2005-06 that he could be a very good goalie, but then he ran into hip problems.

At times last season, Niittymaki outplayed Biron and forced the topic of the goalie controversy on hand after every game. He was 15-8-6 last season with a 2.76 GAA and a .912 SV %.

He had hip surgery this offseason so that might have something to do with the lack of NHL interest.

All signs point to him going back to Europe where he'll be able to land a starting job.

In Flyers related news, Chris Pronger will be introduced on Monday to the media and will be wearing the No. 20 sweater this upcoming season. He wore No. 44 in St. Louis and Edmonton while donning No. 25 in Anaheim.

Todd Bertuzzi could possibly be on the Flyers' radar as couple rumors have surfaced that he is mulling offers from Philly and Ottawa while waiting for others to come in.

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