Martin Biron: Buy Low, Sell High?

RonnybrookCorrespondent IAugust 1, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 25:  Martin Biron #43 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Round of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs  at the Wachovia Center on April 25, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Penguins defeated the Flyers 5-3 to win the series 4 games to 2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

When considering the fortunes of one Martin Biron this summer, I think Happy Gilmour may have said it best.

“Wow, talk about your all-time backfires.”


Hoping for a long-term deal at $4-5 million annually, Biron ended up taking a 50 percent pay cut to move into the Atlantic Division basement.

Sure, Biron can sound excited about how the Islanders are stocked with a lot of young, exciting, and emerging talent. That’s what happens when a team lies down for years on end with the ambition of collecting high draft selections (see Pittsburgh Penguins).

But it’s still the basement, Marty.

With Dwayne Roloson recently signing a two-year deal with the Islanders, combined with the fact that Rick DiPietro is signed through 2021(!), Biron’s arrival has brought an element of intrigue to Long Island.

It’s always the same question, and it’s a fair one at that:

Why would the Islanders need three starting goalies if Rick DiPietro was ready to play?

The assumption is that DiPietro’s injury must be worse than thought. After all, DiPietro was reportedly expected to begin skating in August, an assessment that came from none other than the franchise goaltender’s father, Richard DiPietro Sr.

But there’s another angle I have yet to see in this analysis of this deal, which is maybe the Islanders bought an above average starting goaltender at rock bottom prices (one year at $1.4 million) with the sole intent of shopping him as injuries start to mount in creases around the league.

The Islanders have close to $20 million in cap space. How much of a burden is it to invest $1.4 million in a player that can be traded to a team direly in need of goaltending for picks, prospects, or roster players?

And at such a low cap number, Biron could become a hot commodity in the trade market should the Islanders hold onto him as the trade deadline approaches.

If that’s the strategy (and I’m totally guessing here), then it could be a very good move for the Islanders as they continue to rebuild.

For Ronny's daily hockey thoughts, visit the Ronnybrook blog.