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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Montreal Canadiens Off Season Player Profile: Daniel Briere

With a little under two months remaining before the NHL pre-season gets going, it seems like the perfect time to start taking a look at the Canadiens roster as the off season winds down. In the weeks leading up to the regular season I will be doing individual profiles of every member of the Canadiens roster to help give an idea of where each player stands.

Seeing as how Daniel (formerly known as "Danny") Briere has been the most talked about Hab since signing as a free agent, it seems fitting to begin with him.

Daniel Briere
5'10" 179 lbs
2013 Stats 34GP- 6G- 10A- 16Pts

The Cost

The addition of Briere will cost the Canadiens $8 million over two years with a cap hit of $4 million per year. Although it can be argued that along with the $8 million, signing Briere also cost the Canadiens Jaromir Jagr. While there is no guarantee Jagr would've signed with the Canadiens, once Briere inked his contract there just wasn't enough money to add a seemingly interested Jagr to the roster as well. Jagr ended up signing a contract with the New Jersey Devils that will pay him $2 million base salary with the chance to earn two more in players bonuses.

Performance

Briere's performance in the shortened 2013 season was less than impressive. For a player who has never had trouble producing, it wasn't a shock when the Philadelphia Flyers decided to buyout the remaining two years on his contract after seeing him limited to only 16 points and a -13 rating.

Briere averaged 16:03 minues per game last season after averaging 17:21 in 2011-12 and 18:18 in 2010-11. His age mixed with the emergence of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Read on the wings plus Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn up the middle made the Flyers decision easier.

The Fit

Finding a fit for Briere on the Habs roster has many fans scratching their heads. Briere was brought in to provide scoring and was not simply a depth addition, however with Max Pacioretty, Rene Bourque, Brian Gionta, Alex Galghenyuk and Brendan Gallgher it may be problematic finding him a spot as a top six forward.

Even if Michel Therrein were to use him as a center, his natural position, he would find himself behind Tomas Plekanec, Lars Eller and David Desharnais.

The question isn't which position he"ll be playing, it's on what line. Briere will be playing on the wing and could possible be used alongside David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. That would leave Gionta and Bourque to play on either side of Tomas Plekanec and the Gally's with Eller.

Briere will also see plenty of powerplay time as he has always been crafty given time and space.


The acquisition of Briere wasn't the most popular move made by Marc Bergevin in his tenure as Habs GM. Does the move make sense to you? If you were Therrien, where would Briere fit on your team?

Sean is a freelance writer currently writing for www.HabsAddict.com and ww.TheHockeyWriters.com
He can also be heard on occasion as a guest on www.MontrealHockeyTalk.com. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SeanLloyd93

4 comments:

does briere really sit behind those three at center?
considering eller and DD cant win a face-off and pleky gets kicked out of the circle for cheating on every second draw...
i think bergevin knows he made a mistake with DD's contract and this might cover it up. bergevinknows the habs have little chance to compete with over 17 mill locked up in gionta/pleky and the buyouts. dont get me wrong, gionta and plek are great thrid liners but no team will win paying them 6 mill each.
at first i thought bergevin was crazy but at second thought, bergevin knows he's stuck with what he inherited for another 2 years, and this briere contract will expire with the rest of them. so as a habs fan i have very little expectations and look forward to continuing to watch the growth of our young players.
hopefully we make the post season so we can see if carey continues to struggle

It will be interesting in the next couple of years when all those old contracts expire, and the habs have lots of cash to shore up their weaknesses. Also to let all those young players finally take a regular roster spot from those aging vets,
.

To MasterBulimia, who I can safely assume to be Ellis. I do believe that at this point in his career, Briere doe in fact sit behind Plekanec and Eller at center. Eller may not be a top notch face-off man but he's countinuously getting better with each game and given his age compared to Briere's he undoubtedly deserves a top two spot down the middle over Grandpa Danny.

As for Plekanec, he is among the most underrated players in the league. He is a fantastic second line center cursed with the responsibility of first line center expectations due the team's lack of a bonafide number one center *cough* koivu *cough*. His production tapers off each year simply because of how good he is at both ends of the ice. Take away his PK time and supply him with some consistant talent on his wings and his numbers would improve drastically. In my opinion he's worth every penny he makes.

I'm with you on looking forward to watching our youth develop though, in two or three years we're going to be a hell of a team.

On Price... Now that Price has the benefit of a top notch goalie coach in Stephane Waite it's time to see if he can establish himself as an elite goalie.

Thanks for sharing it. I must follow Sean on Twitter @SeanLloyd93.http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiY41ijpzuI

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