Adding Brad Richards certainly helped the New York Rangers jump up a level this season, but I think the team also exhibited the underrated value of a decent backup. For years, Henrik Lundqvist was expected to win too many games and play too many games for the Rangers, yet last season a healthy Martin Biron allowed the team to rest Hank.
With that in mind, it’s good – if not enormous – news that Katie Strang reports that there’s been “progress” made in contract talks between Biron and the Rangers.
Biron might be the ideal backup for Lundqvist on many levels. He’s been a starter earlier in his career, yet he must know that’s no longer his place – yet it still means that he’s likely comfortable “carrying the ball” from time to time.
Money will probably be the big question. It wouldn’t be surprising if Biron wants a little more than the $875K annual cap hit he received the last two seasons, yet the Rangers might want Biron to make the kind of dough that journeyman No.2’s such as Brent Johnson and Brian Boucher tend to net (maybe closer to $650K?).
If the Rangers don’t nab Biron, they’d be wise to get someone like him. A fresher Hank tends to be a more productive Hank.