As the Phoenix Coyotes head into an offseason, there is a clear objective. Whether they remain in the desert or relocate to a different location, which will be decided in the very near future, they need to upgrade their talent on the offensive end.
This is a team that is as deep as any on the blue line, as has the type of system that would allow a less-than-stellar goaltender to succeed (See: Mike Smith). But they lack the offensive punch to become a real threat out of the Western Conference. At least one player available in free agency could help to improve that aspect of the roster. And it’s a familiar face.
The Philadelphia Flyers have made their intentions to buy out Daniel Briere all but official. They recently released a statement, and will be cutting the veteran forward loose when they are able to do so. Which means the 35-year-old will become a free agent in July.
Briere was originally a draft pick of the Coyotes way back in 1996. It was after he was dealt by Phoenix that he saw his career really take off. Now in the twilight of his career, he may have the opportunity to book end it with a second stop in the desert. And there is certainly a fit there.
The Coyotes need a forward that can play in the top six and provide consistent offense. Even at his age, Briere is still capable of putting up 50 or so points. He can find the back of the net with regularity, having scored at least 20 goals seven times in his career, including four of at least 30.
The fit here is pretty self explanatory. The Coyotes need offense, Briere will likely want to go somewhere that he will feel comfortable. Briere has noted in the past his disappointment over being traded away from the Coyotes. There is definitely a match here, on a couple of different levels.
Of course, we’ll have to see what the market is like for Briere once he is officially bought out. For an offensive player of his caliber, there will be plenty of interest. Whether or not the bidding will get high to the point where it could prevent the Coyotes from signing him is something we’ll have to wait until free agency opens up to see.