Coming off of the worst season of his career with the New York Islanders, Martin Biron will be looking for a new contract this summer. General Manager Darcy Regier wouldn't comment on Biron, but said the Sabres will need a veteran goalie.
It couldn't be better timing. Patrick Lalime's two-year contract comes to an end this year, giving Buffalo a couple of options for a backup goaltender. Two years ago, the Sabres had a similar situation, but chose to go with Lalime instead.
The Sabres missed a great chance to rectify their weakness by not signing Marty Biron. The Sabres should have been actively communicating with Biron throughout free agency. He was a well loved and well respected player in Buffalo. He brought a certain amount of "swagger" to the team, and was loved by his fellow players.
He was a leader in both the locker room and on the ice.
Watching Biron sign to the last place Islanders for a paltry $1.4 million dollars should be seen as a huge missed opportunity for Buffalo two years ago. Biron has NHL starting goalie material, one which led the Flyers to the postseason two years in a row. To have him back in blue and gold would be a soothing presence.
He would be there if the Sabres needed him, and he would likely also light a fire under Ryan Miller (a goalie with NHL starting goalie skills acting as a back up can have that effect). Unlike Lalime, Biron could be counted on to start games.
When Miller was injured, Lalime stepped in and was unable to do the job. Buffalo fell six spots in the standings, and missed the playoffs that year. At 32 years of age, Biron remains a solid option for Buffalo.
The 16th overall pick in the 1999 NHL Draft could very well be backing up a Vezina Trophy finalist come next October. Biron spent 11 years in the Sabres organization and still lives in the area.
A one or two year contract would be a reasonable signing for Biron and the Sabres. Buffalo has Jhonas Enroth in the minors, who could also battle for the backup spot. Almost everyone in Buffalo would love to see Biron make a return. Let's hope the Sabres make it happen