Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, a straight shooter in most cases, was pretty vague about the future of goaltender Martin Biron at a Tuesday press conference. After the team's first-round playoff ouster by Pittsburgh, Holmgren is in evaluation mode, clearly. But given several chances to say that Marty would be his guy if they can work out the money under the salary cap, Holmgren declined.
The fact is, backup Antero Nittymaki is unsigned, too -- and has a hip problem to boot, a lingering injury that will require further checking, according to Holmgren. Anyway, Holmgren said, "We’ll continue to talk. Some of it’s going to come down to, in terms of both of those guys...whether we can afford to sign both those guys, I don’t know. These are things we will continue to discuss.”
Holmgren was then asked if he would be happy with Biron as his starting goaltender next season. The GM said, “I think Marty’s a good goalie. I think he’s had a good couple of years here and (if) we move forward with him, that’ll be a decision we make in the next little while.”
Then, later, Holmgren was asked if it was just a matter of getting the money right, if that was the issue. And Holmgren said, “We’ll see. We’ll see. It’s a difficult process when you have a salary cap and we’ve already committed a certain amount of dollars in certain areas, we’ll come up with the right direction.”
Make of that what you will. Maybe they just haven't decided yet internally and Holmgren was stalling. Maybe the money is such an overriding factor that they can't get their heads around the rest of it. I don't know. All I'm sure of is that I didn't hear a ringing endorsement of the incumbent goaltender.