Doug Armstrong, the general manager of the St. Louis Blues, has been seen elsewhere recently: taking in Philadelphia Flyers games. He’s seen the Flyers play three times recently, twice at the Wells Fargo Center and once in Toronto. He certainly has not been alone in scoping out Philadelphia–one game hosted 21 scouts, representing literally half of the NHL teams–but it’s been reported that he is looking with interest at Danny Briere.
The fact that Andy McDonald is out with an injury sustained during practice may be part of why Armstrong is looking, but he could also be looking to strengthen his team’s postseason prospects. Remember how they won the Central Division, made the playoffs, defeated the San Jose Sharks in the first round and then got swept out completely by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings? Oh, that’s a team that recently made a trade with Philadelphia!
Briere specializes in the playoffs. He is practically a point-per-game man in the postseason, scoring 109 points in 108 total playoff games. If Armstrong needs any examples of how great Briere can be with the chance to play for Lord Stanley on the line, he needs only to ask Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock.
When Hitchcock was behind the Flyers’ bench he witnessed Briere, then with the Buffalo Sabres, co-captain the team to a quarterfinal series win in six against Philadelphia in the 2006 playoffs. In that six-game series, Briere put up three goals and added six assists. That playoff loss, and a really bad start to the following season, ended up sealing Hitchcock’s fate and he was fired in October 2006.
However, the probability of Briere waiving his no-movement clause, picking up stakes and heading west to St. Louis is very, very low. He said he can’t imagine playing anywhere except the City of Brotherly Love.
The Flyers, though, may be interested in trying to get Kevin Shattenkirk. The young defenseman is especially good at dishing out assists, having put up 14 of them in 18 games so far this season. He leads the Blues in assists and is second only to left-winger Alexander Steen for total points. The idea that the Blues would be willing to part with Shattenkirk, who’s consistently performed well for the team, thus seems unlikely.
Still, a trade for other players between the teams might be brewing considering how often Armstrong has been seeing the Flyers in action recently. Only time will tell.