The first big name player who will be bought out has surfaced, as Danny Briere has been told that the Flyers will be buying him out of the last two years of his contract. Briere carried a cap hit of $6.5M per year but was only scheduled to make $3M this season and $2M next.
So, would the Gatineau native be a good short-term fix on the Senators’ top two lines?
Briere is a good skater, but at 35 years old, and with a small stature, injuries seem to have started to take their toll. He missed 12 games of the 48 game shortened season with a concussion, which cannot be a good sign. His point per game production has also fallen off, leading one to believe that his road may soon be coming to an end. If he can’t score and be productive offensively, I am not sure there is many spaces available for him.
He will get just over $3M from his buyout, and if he can’t play in Philadelphia where his children are, then he might just want to come and play in his hometown and take a short-term contract for a couple of years to do that. I am not saying he will, or do not have any indication that it might happen, but its a guess.
However, if Daniel Alfredsson does return, and I still fully expect he will, then there is no room for the veteran Briere. If Alfie does for some reason decide he has had enough and does decide to hang up his skates, Briere might be an interesting stop-gap until the likes of Matt Puempel, Mark Stone, Stefan Noesen and Shane Prince are ready to step into (or at least compete for) top 6 minutes and roles.
That is why Alfredsson’s decision needs to come sooner rather than later, because negotiations for UFA’s can begin earlier than usual this year, before the actual signing date begins on July 5th.
So in conclusion, in my world, an Alfredsson return negates the need for Briere. Alfredsson retiring would open a spot on a short term (2 years), affordable ($5M total MAX) contract where I would consider bringing him in as a veteran leader who can also chip in offensively.