With one gross misplay of the NHL free agent market, along with failing basic economics, former Flyers’ goaltender Marty Biron must suck up his pride if he even wants to be a part of the NHL next season.
Coming into free agency, Biron and his agent Gilles Lupien took the hard-line stance of demanding a starting position with a long-term deal for reportedly close to $5 million a season. Marty made $3.8 million last season, and was looking to up his salary.
After receiving no attention from any team at that money at his talent level, Biron dropped Lupien and hired J.P. Barry. But to the bewilderment of GM’s everywhere, kept the same hard-line demands and received the same result.
With a limited number of solid and inexpensive starting goaltenders signing off on contracts at the start of free agency, Biron sat waiting. He even told one Philly reporter that he was somewhat shocked that no one has sought his services. With Nikolai Khabibulin going to Edmonton, Craig Anderson going to Colorado and Scott Clemmenson heading to Florida, teams needing a goalie simply went for value, while Biron continued to try and cash in, refusing to adapt.
With the supply of grade-B goalies greater than the demand, the power was with the buyers, not the sellers. Now, with most teams set at the starting position, instead of being a starter, making almost twice as much as he did last season, misreading the market has earned Biron a possible back-up spot, making less than half. Marking an embarrassing and epic failure on his part.
If Biron’s pride gets in the way and he refuses to acknowledge his mistake and take a pay and playing time cut, he could very well end up in Europe or even the KHL, where they would gladly pay for a goalie of his caliber. Not the desired location for Biron, who has a young family.
The smart move for Biron would be to cut his loses and take a one-year back-up position with a team like the Buffalo, Edmonton or Tampa Bay, all of which may have injury questions with starters. If he excels, he will have a chance next season to try and get the long-term contract he desires. But if he doesn’t put his pride away soon, don’t be surprised to see Biron sleeping on a cot in a cold gym in Siberia.