Briere Leaves Broad Street: Montreal Bound

A Quebecer that was a first round selection in his draft year, is a strong skating sniper, a power play type of forward and a playoff performer is headed to the Montreal Canadiens.

 

Hold on a second, a strong contingent of the people are not happy?

 

On paper this sounds like everything Canadiens fans want and perhaps that should be taken more into account.  Granted, he is another forward under 6’0 tall and that makes him, Gionta and Gallagher all being relatively undersized in the same position but Briere is competitive and active and he has been for years.  He was a Philadelphia Flyer for a reason and that’s a team that has forever wanted almost nothing but players with size and physicality so Briere can at least keep up there.  Most importantly, current cup champions the Chicago Blackhawks are the second smallest team in the league.

 

The common, resounding belief is that the bitter feelings of Briere opting in his first chance to come to Montreal to go to Philadelphia are still lingering.  These feelings are understandable but hockey in such a day and age as this is a business and there’s no room for hurt feelings in a business such as hockey, namely when the acquisition of a player is the subject in hand.

 

The Gatineau native has been reputed as a power play type of forward and in order to get the Montreal power play up even higher than it is, more point men are not necessary.  Markov and Subban are already specialists and if Beaulieu proves to be ready on a more regular basis for NHL action this year, there’s really further room on the blue line.  Power play forwards are the only area in which Montreal is going to further their special teams on the offensive end of the spectrum and Daniel Briere is exactly that with a tremendous scoring touch.  Perhaps if he had more power play time this season then the Flyers may have found themselves in the playoffs, many not knowing why Briere wasn’t given time on special teams and yet he still managed 16 points in 34 games this past season.

 

What seems to be an overlooked hole that would have been staring this team dead in the face this coming season is if the strong likelihood that Ryder finds himself a new home that the new team need becomes getting another goal scorer of preferably 30 goals or higher per season, a platform that Briere has reached on multiple occasions, most recently in the 2010-2011 season.

 

While the points could run on and on, the strongest point comes in the playoffs in more ways than one…

 

Briere has amassed 659 career points thus far in 847 regular season NHL games but he has 109 points in 108 playoff games.  Montreal has seen star player after star player in recent years have incredible regular season success but failed to show up during the post-season while just the opposite seems to happen with Daniel Briere as he saves his best games for the playoffs.  Case in point of Briere’s biggest productions: during the Flyers run to the finals in 2010, Briere totalled 30 points in 23 games, a franchise record.

 

Looking at the fiscal numbers, this contract is very digestable; it’s a short term and it’s a reasonable cost.  Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren, when asked by the Montreal Canadiens about Briere, had nothing but glowing reviews to provide them with.  If one can still not be convinced that this is a move that is at least worth taking a gamble on, the insurance must be provided by bearing witness this season.

 

Briere was offered higher pay for only one year as he so requested and preferred to a two year deal from both Nashville and New Jersey but took the local boy discount for two years with the Montreal Canadiens.  Considering that his last cap hit was 6.5 million dollars per year and that he was offered even more than he’s getting now, it’s evident that the Flyers bought him out for their lack of cap space and not Briere’s lack of ability.

 

“Deep down I have always wanted to play for the Montreal Canadiens.” – Daniel Briere

 

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