Author: Joe Yerdon

Martin Biron

Martin Biron announces his retirement


After being demoted by the New York Rangers last week, Martin Biron is retiring from the game.

The New York Rangers announced Biron was hanging it up after 16 seasons in the NHL which saw him playing as a backup goalie for the better part of it.

Biron’s career began with the Buffalo Sabres at the age of 18 after being their first-round pick in 1995. Perhaps his best season as a pro came in 2001-02 with Buffalo when he played in 72 games for the Sabres winning a career-high 31 games and put up career-best 2.22 goals-against average at age 24.

He gained his most fame, however, as a Philadelphia Flyer during the 2007-08 season winning 30 games and having a career-high .918 save percentage while leading the team to the Eastern Conference Final against Pittsburgh before losing in five games.

In 508 career games played, Biron finished with 230 wins and 28 shutouts. His career came to an ignominious end this season after being scorched in relief by the San Jose Sharks including allowing a highlight-reel goal to rookie Tomas Hertl.

Biron tweeted his announcement as well.

As one of the most quotable players in the league, expect to see him on TV with someone in the near future. We’ll also remember him for his ability to hang tough in a goalie fight as well.

Penguins’ Neal out at least two more weeks

James Neal

Penguins fans are going to have to wait a bit longer to see James Neal back in action.

According to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the goal scoring winger will miss at least two more weeks with his upper body injury. Neal was placed on injured reserve on October 15 after re-aggravating an old injury.

To the Penguins’ credit, Neal’s injury hasn’t slowed them down much in thanks to the play of, you guessed it, Sidney Crosby.

They’re 7-1-0 on the season and only the San Jose Sharks have scored more goals (39 to Pittsburgh’s 31). Crosby, meanwhile, leads the league in points with 17 and is tied with four players atop the league in goals with seven.

Neal was injured on October 3 against the New Jersey Devils, the Pens’ first game of the year, and played just 3:49 of that game.

Goodbye beard: Sharks’ Burns shaving for charity

Brent Burns

Brent Burns is ditching his wild outdoorsman look, but for a good cause.

According to the Sharks, the defenseman-turned-forward will be getting rid of his famous hair and beard on November 1 to raise money for the Defending the Blue Line and Katie Moore Foundation charities. He’ll be getting a buzz cut and shaving off his full, wildman beard in an effort to raise money for both non-profits.

From now until Halloween, the Sharks are hoping to raise $5,000 for each charity and with how famous his look has become, it probably won’t take too long to meet their goal.

To make things even more crazy, one of Burns’ Sharks teammates will get to do the honors of shaving him.

“I’m sure there will be a long line of guys wanting to cut my hair,” Burns said with a laugh. “With this disaster on my face, I figured that maybe some good can come from it and we can help a couple of deserving causes.”

This sounds like a job for Tomas “Teenage Mutant Ninja” Hertl.

Report: Panthers ready to trade just about anyone

Marcel Goc, Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg

Now that the Florida Panthers have new ownership, they’re reportedly ready to shake things up.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports new owners Vincent Viola and Douglas Cifu aren’t happy with the team’s slow start and are ready to move any of their veteran players. Who can be had for the right price? Pretty much anyone.

Forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall, Shawn Matthias, Brad Boyes and Marcel Goc are among those available along with Tom Gilbert and Dmitry Kulikov, just to name a few.

The Panthers are 3-6-0 to start the season which in the Eastern Conference puts them a short winning streak away from being a playoff team. They’re just four points back of third place Montreal and six back of Atlantic Division leading Detroit and Toronto. In other words, it’s too soon to be throwing in the towel.

That said, new owners looking to do business their way isn’t anything new and GM Dale Tallon could have new marching orders.

As it is, they’ve got a solid young core with 2013 Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau, 2013 first-round pick Aleksander Barkov, defenseman Erik Gudbranson, and goalie Jacob Markstrom. Building off of them has likely been the plan all along.

Roman Hamrlik to announce retirement

Roman Hamrlik

After 20 NHL seasons, Roman Hamrlik is calling it a career.

According to reports from Europe, Hamrlik will retire from hockey.  Roman Jedlicka in the Czech Republic says he’ll make his announcement official in Montreal at a press conference next week.

After so long in the NHL, Hamrlik has had a distinctive career. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 1992, the franchise’s first ever draft pick. He played with seven different teams over his career going from Tampa to Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, the New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers.

He showed he was worthy of his lofty No. 1 pick status right away. In his fourth season, he posted career-highs in goals (16) and points (65) with the Lightning. In his first 18 seasons, he scored 20 or more points each year. He finished his career with 155 goals and 638 points in 1,395 games.

From Yahoo!’s Sean Leahy, here’s video of the day Hamrlik was drafted by Phil Esposito and the Lightning in ’92.