Monday, February 28, 2011
Rangers backup goalie Biron out indefinitely
By Matt Ehalt
Rangers backup goaltender Marin Biron will be out indefinitely after fracturing his collarbone during practice Monday, the team announced. The Rangers will call up goalie Cam Talbot from the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL in the meantime.
“It’s a big loss for our team, he was a big part of it,” Rangers President & General Manager Glen Sather said during a conference call Monday. “Very enthusiastic, upbeat, positive guy and we’re sorry to lose him. But we’ve got some young goaltenders in the organization...we’ll see how things lay out in the future after this.”
Sather said the injury happened when Biron was hit with a shot in his collarbone. With time remaining before Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, Sather looked around to see if there were trade possibilities for a backup goalie, but couldn’t find a deal that was to his liking. The Rangers only trade ended up being for Toronto forward John Mitchell in exchange for a 2012 seventh-round draft pick.
“We did look into a (trade) and there were some possibilities,” Sather said. “When you’re looking for something with short notice like that it gets very expensive to find a backup NHL goaltender that has the experience. We didn’t want to just lay a lot of things on the line and I know it’s risky, but at the same time, I know that Henrik (Lundqvist) loves the work and loves to play and he’s had lots of time off this year and he’s going to have some days between the game that we have coming up. We think he’s going to be able to get through this very well.”
Biron, 35, signed a two-year deal with the Rangers in the summer to be Ludnqvist’s backup and effectively spell their All-Star goalie, as Lundqvist played in 73 of the team’s 82 games last season. This season, Biron has played in 17 games for the Rangers while going 8-6 with a 2.13 goals against average. Sather said he doesn’t think Biron will be back until the end of the season and will likely miss the rest of the regular season.
Sather said he doesn’t envision the backup goalie having to start more than twice the rest of the season with the Rangers having just three back-to-back games in their final 18 games to finish the season. He’s also not worried about the heavy load being placed on Lundqvist, who has played in just 50 games this season and is on pace for his lowest games played total since his rookie season in 2005-06.
“He’s had a lot of time of this year already,” Sather said. “Henrik likes to play. He likes to play every day if he can. We’ve got time off between a lot of these games. The toughest part of schedule is really behind us.”