(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
New York Rangers goaltender Martin Biron announced his retirement today, ending a 16-year National Hockey League career, which included five 20-win seasons (2001-02, 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2008-09), two 30-win seasons (2001-02, 2007-08), and a trip to the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Biron, 36, is one of only five players in NHL history to play for all three teams in the state of New York, along with Rangers forward Taylor Pyatt, as well as Pat LaFontaine, Mike Donnelly, and Jason Dawe. He leaves the game ranked 59th on the NHL’s all-time games played list among goaltenders with 508 career appearances, tied for 56th all-time in wins with 230 career victories, and tied for 55th all-time with 28 career shutouts.
The 6-2, 186-pounder has appeared in 508 career regular season contests over 16 seasons with the Rangers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, and Buffalo Sabres, posting a record of 230-191-25-27, along with a 2.62 goals against average, .910 save percentage, and 28 shutouts. Biron is one of only 12 goalies in NHL history with a career save percentage of .910 or better while appearing in at least 500 games.
Biron signed with the Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2010. In four seasons as a Blueshirt, he posted a record of 22-15-3, along with a 2.47 goals against average, .908 save percentage, and two shutouts in 46 games. He made his debut with the team on October 21, 2010, stopping 24 shots in a 2-1 win at Toronto. In 2011-12, Biron posted his personal single-season highs as a Ranger with 12 wins and two shutouts in 21 appearances. That season, he became the 60th goaltender in NHL history to appear in 500 career regular season games, and finished the campaign tied for fourth among NHL goaltenders with three assists
Prior to joining the Rangers, Biron appeared in 29 games with the New York Islanders during the 2009-10 season. He recorded his 200th career victory with a 38-save shutout in a 5-0 win against Buffalo on October 31, 2009.
Biron backstopped the Philadelphia Flyers for three seasons from 2006-07 to 2008-09. In 2007-08, Biron established a career-high with a .918 save percentage (minimum 20 games played) and tied his career-high with five shutouts, which tied for sixth in the NHL. That season, he became the first Flyers' goaltender in six years to record back-to-back shutouts, en route to being named the NHL's First Star of the Week for the week ending October 21, 2007, after posting a 3-0-0 record, 0.66 goals against average, .982 save percentage and two shutouts over the span.
The Lac St. Charles, Quebec native began his career in Buffalo, where he was originally selected as a first round choice, 16th overall, in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. Biron made his NHL debut as an 18-year old on December 26, 1995, at Pittsburgh, during a three-game stint with the Sabres. He earned his first career victory on March 5, 1999, with a 26-save effort in a 2-1 win against Dallas, and posted his first career shutout with an 18-save performance on November 19, 1999, in a 4-0 win at Atlanta.
Biron established career-highs in games played (72), wins (31), and goals against average (2.22) with the Sabres during the 2001-02 season. He ranked second in the NHL that season in games played, third in total ice-time (4,085), tied for ninth in save percentage (.915), and 10th in wins and goals against average. His 72 appearances tied the Sabres' record for games played in a single season at the time, and his 31 wins tied for fifth on the franchise’s all-time list.
In Stanley Cup Playoff action, Biron posted a record of 11-12 with a 2.87 goals against average, .908 save percentage and two shutouts in 23 career postseason contests with Philadelphia. He led the Flyers to the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals, registering a 9-8 mark with a 2.97 goals against average and one shutout in 17 games. His nine wins and 17 appearances both ranked fourth in the NHL that playoff season.