It pains me to write Danny Briere’s year in review.
Briere came to Philadelphia in the offseason of 2007, the year after the Flyers had just missed the playoffs, bringing with him a new attitude for the Flyers franchise. Along with Briere was a much-scrutinized contract that would pay the five-foot-ten, 179-pound player 52 million dollars over eight years with an annual cap hit of 6.5 million.
Briere’s worth was proven immediately as he recorded the second-highest point total of his career, registering 31 goals and 41 assists in 79 games. It was not Briere’s regular season performance that would define his legacy in Philadelphia, but rather his playoff performance.
The centerman would quickly become both a fan favorite and target of fan wrath. Briere’s last two years in Philadelphia were trying for him, as he would suffer through long goalless droughts. Briere finished this season with a Flyer career-low six goals and ten assists in 34 games. His disastrous season could ultimately spell his time in Philadelphia.
The Flyers were counting on Briere to step up in the absence of Jaromir Jagr, but he began the season injured, stemming from his playing in Germany. Briere returned early from a shoulder injury, but never seemed right. He would later lose playing time because of a concussion. Based on Briere’s tremendous cap hit, he failed to live up to expectations, and ultimately was a big reason for the Flyers missing the playoffs.
Danny Briere’s future in Philadelphia does not look bright. Rumors swirled throughout the season that the Flyers had attempted to trade him, but due to an injury, the Flyers were unable to do so.
As Philadelphia and Briere enter the offseason, the question is not, “What to do with Danny Briere?” but rather, “When will the Flyers amnesty Briere?”
The Fourth Period is reporting that the Flyers will buy-out Briere and will owe him $3.333 million over the next four seasons.
If The Fourth Period is indeed correct, and Danny Briere has played his last game as a member of the Orange and Black, Flyers Nation owes him a debt of gratitude for helping to turn this franchise around and for teaching the young kids how to be successful professionals (see: Giroux, Claude; Couturier. Sean).
Briere’s career in the NHL is far from over, but his Philadelphia story will more than likely come to an end. He remains one of the classiest players to come through Philadelphia, and whether or not Briere continues his career as a Flyer, any organization will be lucky to have a leader and talented playoff performer in Danny Briere.