- Last Updated: 12:39 PM, June 30, 2012
- Posted: 12:56 AM, June 30, 2012
Martin Biron may be the Rangers’ backup goaltender, but it was a high priority for the club to sign Henrik Lundqvist’s partner to a new contract before he could hit the free-agent market tomorrow, which is what they did last night.
Biron, the security blanket who gives coach John Tortorella peace of mind to follow through on his plan to limit Lundqvist’s regular-season workload, signed a two-year deal worth $1.3 million per season, a deserved upgrade over the $875,000 per he earned on his original two-year contract with the Rangers he signed July 1, 2010.
The universally respected and well-liked goaltender, who will turn 35 in August, went 12-6-2 in 20 starts for the Blueshirts last season with a 2.46 goals against average and is 20-12-2 in 34 starts with a 2.32 GAA in his two seasons on Broadway. The Rangers had gone 18-23-8 over the previous four seasons in games Lundqvist did not start.
Biron certainly held a fair amount of leverage in his talks with the Rangers given the paucity of credible alternatives on the market and the Flyers’ interest in signing bringing No. 43 back to Philadelphia as Ilya Bryzgalov’s backup.
But rather than setting up a bidding war out of which Biron probably could have squeezed a few extra dollars, the goaltender chose to remain on Broadway on a deal that’s a win-win for all parties — except the Flyers.
* The gap between the Rangers and impending free-agent winger Brandon Prust, meanwhile, remains considerable. It is all but certain Prust will hit the open market, though he likely would give the Rangers a chance to match (or come as close as possible to matching) his best offer.
If Prust is able to attract offers of upward of $2.4 million per on a three- or four-year deal, the Rangers are expected to pass. ... Wisconsin free agent defenseman Justin Schultz, whom the Texas Rangers pitched on Thursday, is expected to announce where he will sign today.Follow @NYPostsports