Over the course of his career, Danny Briere has proven he can be one of the premiere playmaking centers in the NHL. After having just been bought out from his contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, one has to wonder what comes next for the 35-year-old center?Well I for one, would love to see him land with the New York Islanders, where I think he could still have an impact on the team.
I don’t think money is going to be a problem in this case, as the islanders have the most cap space to work with out of any team in the league. The upside to signing a guy like Briere is that you know that he has scoring ability. Briere scored 95 points for a career high in 2006-07 with the Buffalo Sabres, and set a Flyers record for most points in the playoffs with 30, which he set in 2010. So we know there is production value with Briere coming into the lineup.
But, alas, with every upside, there is always a downside. Briere has had a past history of injuries, most notably concussion problems. Briere’s age also has to be taken into account here. Briere will be turning 36 in October, which might be considered “old” by hockey standards. I still feel he has another good year or two left in the tank, though.
If I was Islanders management, I would seriously consider giving Briere at least a look. Now don’t get me wrong here, the Islanders still have a solid team at the position of center. The Islanders still have John Tavares, Frans Nielsen, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey and Andres Lee, among others, to work with. Money needs to be spent here for the Islanders to stay competitive, especially in as tough a division as they are going to be in next season.
Briere still has a scoring touch that has been on display his entire career, but he never really seemed to fit in as well as was hoped in the Flyers’ system. If given the chance with the Islanders, I think Briere can return to his old form, for a little while at least, that made him such a star with Buffalo. Hell, Briere was the MVP of the All-Star game back in 2007 when he scored a goal and threw in four assists. With the talent level the Islanders have on their roster for wingers, like Kyle Okposo and Michael Grabner, a guy like Briere would be a perfect center for those two guys. With the speed of Grabner and shooting ability of Okposo, having a setup guy like Briere with those two could make for some fun hockey to watch as an Islanders fans, and be a killer for the other teams around the league.
Danny Briere will still be a threat at 36, just get him the right system, like the one the Islanders have, and he would flourish once again in the NHL.