Buffalo, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to a one-year arbitration settlement with goaltender Martin Biron, who played for South Carolina in the ECHL.
In 2003-04 with Buffalo, the 6-1 and 169-pound Biron, who was 3-0-0 with a goals against average of 1.92 with the Stingrays in 1997-98, was 26-18-5 with two shutouts and ranked 20th in the NHL with a save percentage of .913 and a goals against average of 2.52. He was named NHL Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending October 26, 2003 after going 3-0-0 with a goals against average of 1.92 and a save percentage of .940. He set franchise records with three consecutive shutouts and a shutout streak of 221:58 which surpassed Dominik Hasek’s mark of 178:33.
The 26-year-old Biron is 101-103-25 with 17 shutouts, a goals against average of 2.44 and a save percentage of .911 in 246 NHL games. He helped Team Canada capture the gold medal at the 2003 World Championships. Selected by Buffalo with the 16th overall selection in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, Biron became the fourth youngest goaltender to start an NHL game (18 years and 133 days) against Pittsburgh on December 26, 1995.
The Premier “AA” Hockey League, the ECHL had affiliations with 21 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2003-04 and every NHL team had an ECHL player play for it in 2003-04. In 2003-04 there were 40 players that played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, surpassing the high of 27 players in 1999-2000 and 2000-01. Eleven players, including eight goaltenders, appeared in both the ECHL and the NHL in 2003-04, breaking the high of five players in 2001-02, and a total of 115 ECHL players played in the NHL in 2003-04. There have been 255 players that have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL.
For the fifth consecutive year the ECHL is represented on the Stanley Cup Champion with Ruslan Fedotenko, Nolan Pratt and Andre Roy as well as radio play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin and assistant equipment manager Dana Heinze.