NHL Veteran goaltender Martin Biron signed on with the New York Islanders for a one-year deal worth $1.4 million.
Now, Ill get straight to the point. We all know that earlier this offseason the Islanders signed Dwayne Roloson to a two year deal worth $5 million. We also are very aware of the financial commitment the Islanders have already made to first overall pick Rick DiPietro in the form of a 15-year-old contract signed in 2005.
So, three No. 1 goalies? What gives? General Manager Garth Snow said it best when asked of his new found depth at the netminding position best.
"We now have three-bonafide number one goalies." While that statement would be true if your talking a shared talent level between the three men, this signing tells me one thing and one thing only.
The Islanders may have "three bonafide No. 1 goalies", but only two of them are healthy. Rick DiPietros hip problems are clearly worse then we all thought. Recently we were told that DiPetros will begin skating in August and will hopefully be ready for training camp.
While that is good news, I am almost 100 percent certain (and this is just my personal opinion) that DiPietro will not be on the Islanders opening night roster.
I foresee him either going on the IR and further resting his injuries right before camp, or coming to camp and maybe playing a pre-season game and then going on IR because he doesn't feel he is ready for full-time action just yet.
This is where Biron comes in. Everyone thought signing Roloson was genius just because we all know DP's situation. Roloson, although no spring chicken, has proven that he is a capable NHL starter and signed a relatively cheap, short term contract.
To most, the idea of a DiPietro-Roloson tandem, or at least just Roloson as a starter with an named back-up would be enough to help the Isles move up in the standings from last years disappointing last place finish.
Enter Marty Biron. Biron, another capable NHL starter, played very well the past two seasons as the Flyers starter, and was spectacular in the 2008 playoffs, leading Philadelphia to the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Penguins.
The signing of Biron is genius. It gives the Islanders a 1-2 punch in goal. Not that the Islanders have cap issues to begin with, but the fact that Biron is signed to such a cheap deal makes this signing genius. When I first heard of this signing, I immediately though of one thing.
To me, this shows all Islanders fans that this organization is commited to winning. Yes, I know that they need upgrades upfront and on the back end as well, probably before they needed to add another goaltender. But not signing any long term deals and overpaying guys is a good move on Garth Snow's part.
Signing Marty Biron to me, is genius on Snow's part. This cheap, one year deal is strictly an insurance policy should DP not be ready to go. What others aren't aware is that the Islanders are a very, very young team.
Having Biron, even for a half a season, will do them wonders. He's an amazing character guy and great in the locker room. A true gentlemen in this great sport, someone you would have to meet (which I have) to truly understand what I'm talking about.
So lets assume DP is not ready to go. Lets say Roloson and Biron basically split the games 50/50, and barring any injuries to the two, whoever plays better gets a couple more starts in the end. This gives the Islanders time to figure out where DP sits in the long run. Should he go on LTIR, or an absolute worse case scenario being early retirement, they can resign Biron next off-season to a long term deal.
Roloson would back him up one more season, then likely retire. The back-up role could be filled via free-agency or from within the organization. Or who knows, maybe DP can pull a Steve Sullivan and with enough time to heal return one hundred percent, leaving us with a DP-Biron tandem.
But what if DP is ready to go? Whether it be at training camp or at some point during this season? The good thing is Biron's contract is trade friendly. A low cap hit based on Birons talent level, and no lengthy commitment attached.
Biron, I belive, will be traded to a team that needs a goalie by mid-season, whether it be because another teams number one is injured or just playing poorly. That is, if DP is ready to go at some point this year. If that is the case, it makes almost no sense not to deal Biron at the trade deadline.
A team looking for a solid veteran insurance goalie for the playoffs could scoop Biron from the Islanders, and no matter what the return the Islanders get, they really win.
So to those baffled by the signing of Biron, I hope I have shed some light on why this contract could do nothing but good not only for the Islanders organization as a whole, but for Biron himself.
To me, this is just another step in the right direction for the Islanders organization. With the debut of first overall pick John Tavares coming this season, this signing of Islanders fans says that one thing they will not have to worry about is goaltending.
Props to you Garth. Props to you.