Brière, who had 6 goals and 10 assists for 16 points in 34 games last season, has recorded 286 goals and 373 assists for 659 points in 847 career games in the NHL.
The 5'10'', 180-lb, forward signed a $52 million, eight-year deal with Philadelphia before the 2007-08 season as an unrestricted free agent, choosing the Flyers over the Canadiens at the time. The Gatineau native played a very important role in helping them reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2010 before they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
A renowned playoff performer, Brière is producing at a 1 PPG clip in the playoffs, scoring 50 goals and 59 assists for 109 points in 108 games.
After learning that Vincent Lecavalier had signed with the Flyers earlier this week as an unrestricted free agent, some Habs fans are certainly happy about the signature of another Quebecer. Brière, a natural center who can also play on the wing, is a seven-time 25-goal scorer in the NHL. He had his best campaign with the Buffalo Sabres in 2006-07 when he notched 32 goals and 63 helpers for 95 points in 81 games.
Slowed down by multiples injuries in recent years, Brière will basically replace Michael Ryder's offensive production after the team decided to part ways with Ryder, who was acquired mid-season for disgruntled forward Erik Cole.
While most Canadiens fans are ripping GM Marc Bergevin for this move because Brière is another small forward joining another bunch of undersized forwards such as David Desharnais, Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Brendan Gallagher, this signature is likely the precursor of other player movements to get bigger up front.
With the Free Agency period slated to open at noon on Friday, the Canadiens will be looking to get meaner and tougher up front whether they manager to sign a big UFA or acquire a tough and gritty forward via trade.
Bergevin is currently working the phones to address the Habs' glaring size problem and the names currently mentioned as trade baits are Gionta, Desharnais and Plekanec. A team that is rumored to be talking with the Canadiens are the St. Louis Blues who are looking to add quality center after pivot Andy McDonald announced his retirement earlier this summer.
Playmaker David Perron and power forward Chris Stewart are currently on the market and would interest the Canadiens. Perron, 25, recorded 25 points in 48 contests last season after missing parts of the previous two seasons with concussion symptoms. Stewart, a 25-yeard-old RFA, had a solid season in 2012-13, notching 18 goals and 18 assists for 36 points in 48 games.
Would you be happy if the Canadiens decided to unload one of their small forwards in exchange for the two above players?
Do you agree with Brière's two-year deal?