• There's No Looking Back for Lundqvist
By Jim Cerny, newyorkrangers.comMartin Biron
arrived with his family at their new home on Monday, but it took until Friday for the Rangers’ new backup goaltender to arrive at the MSG Training Center to take part in his first on-ice informal workout with his new teammates.
“We have four children, including a baby, so let’s just say it took a long time to unpack,” Biron said with a laugh after Friday’s workout, which included a wide-open 4-on-4 scrimmage. “But I am happy to be here now with the guys and I am excited to be a Ranger.”
|Rangers goalie Martin Biron wore the mask he plans to use during the 2010-11 season on Friday, as he and 15 other veterans and prospects skated in workouts and a very fast-paced 4-on-4 scrimmage. |
The 33-year-old Biron was the first unrestricted free agent to sign a contract with a new team this summer when he left the Islanders for a two-year deal with the Blueshirts on July 1. He is expected to lighten the load on starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
and provide the Rangers a solid 1-2 punch between the pipes.
“He’s a proven National Hockey League goaltender,” Lundqvist said of Biron, who has 462 games of NHL experience. “It was a real good signing for us. He will push me to be even better which will be good for the team.”
Biron is not only excited to be joining the Rangers organization, but he is extremely happy that his wife and children will be living with him this season. Last year Biron lived alone on Long Island while his then-pregnant wife and their children remained in their off-season home up in Buffalo.
The professional stability that comes with signing a multiyear contract has provided Biron with a better feeling than last year, too.
“With the Islanders I pretty much knew I’d be there only one year,” Biron said. “But now I can be more involved in the room because I am going to be here a while.”Players showcase skill in scrimmage
Biron and Lundqvist had their hands full during Friday’s 4-on-4 scrimmage.
“There wasn’t much defense being played out there,” joked Lundqvist.
There were, however, plenty of offensive fireworks.Ryan Callahan
, skating on Lundqvist’s “Red” team, netted a hat trick, as did Sean Avery
, who played for Biron’s “Blue” squad. Brandon Dubinsky
scored a pair of goals, including one off a gorgeous on-on-one move around Evgeny Grachev, and unofficially added a pair of assists. Grachev responded with two goals of his own in the free-skating back-and-forth scrimmage.
Rangers captain Chris Drury closed out the proceedings with his second goal of the contest, giving the Blue Team the victory.
Norwegian rookie Mats Zuccarello
Aasen impressed Lundqvist with his quick hands and on-ice vision both during the scrimmage and during a shootout drill afterwards.
“Coming from Europe it’s going to be a new experience for him, but I think he is going to do great,” Lundqvist said of Zuccarrello Aasen. “He has such quick hands and his passes … he sees guys coming at the right time. You can tell he’s got skill, for sure.”
More players set to arrive after Labor Day
A total of 16 players participated in the group workout on Friday. Joining Biron, Lundqvist, Drury, Callahan, Avery, Grachev, Dubinsky, and Zuccarello Aasen were Michael Del Zotto
, Todd White, Steve Eminger
, Tim Kennedy, Artem Anisimov
, Wade Redden
, Matt Gilroy, and Pavel Valentenko
The players will head their separate ways over the Labor Day Weekend and return to the ice together on Tuesday. More players are expected to arrive in town next week.