Danny Briere could be traded before, or on April 3, 2013. But, the Philadelphia Flyers must consider a few factors before they would agree to move their sixth-highest playoff scorer (72 points) of all-time by the National Hockey League’s trade deadline.
Everyone can believe whatever they want about number 48’s historical regular season performances, or how he’s been playing during this shortened season. But, there’s no denying that Briere is a deadly postseason sniper who has terrorized numerous postseason goalies dating back to his days with the Buffalo Sabres.
Antero Nittymaki and his 2005-06 Flyers’ teammates felt that forwards’ pain (three goals, six assists) during their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals’ defeat. Subtracting Briere would almost certainly reduce the team’s offensive punch this spring.
The idea of even considering a trade that involves this 35-year-old veteran must include a conversation about the salary cap. Recent waivers of some players and potential long-term injured reserve maneuvering may not enable enough financial figures to be loosened to truly solve this team’s needs.
So, we must start (or stop, per personal preference) at Briere’s no-trade clause.
Any team could choose to reduce a player’s ice time as a method of sending a message to its employee: “You are not in our future plans. Give in to our demands.” But, I’m not sure that this situation would ever reach that forced point.
Plus, we must remember that all clauses can be negotiated away under the right circumstances. One circumstance would involve a trade partner agreeing to extend Briere’s current contract past the 2014-15 season.
Because this center is the Flyers’ highest-salaried player, having a cap hit of $6.5 million through the next two seasons, he isn’t guaranteed to finish his career in an orange and black jersey.
Head coach Peter Laviolette must have at least one solid defender added to his blue line contingent by the trade deadline, which assumes that his team remains in playoff contention until that time. A sharp defenseman is “Lavy’s” most pressing, but not his only need.
General manager Paul Holmgren has a well-earned reputation as a creative and aggressive deal-maker. As such, “Homer” won’t curtail any of his roster plans as he attempts to position his team for an extended spring adventure.