Danny Briere's Upside not Much of an Upside Anymore
Philadelphia is currently under the realization that a lot is going to be changing for the Flyers.
The team is struggling mightily, and chances of making the playoffs are very slim. This all will eventually lead to presumed roster changes.
A handful of questions are also being asked -- Will last year’s big three rookies stick around? Which defensemen will be added? And will Danny Briere still be in orange and black?
I am here to touch on that last point. I do not have an answer of course, but I stand strongly by what the answer should be.
The chart above paints a clear picture of exactly what Briere has brought to the Flyers. The most games he has ever played in Philadelphia is 79, so point totals were multiplied out to fit that ratio. And for the playoffs the ratio used was 23 games.
The first thing to pick out is that Briere’s regular season point totals are dwindling. Second thing is that his playoff production is rather inconsistent. It goes up and down every year.
Add into this the fact that he is 35 years old, has the highest cap hit on the Flyers, is known for putting his team on the penalty kill with bad stick infractions, and cannot play two way hockey and it really makes you reconsider his worth.
Briere has been “Mr. Playoffs.” We all look forward to what he will bring come April and May, but having to wait through not so great regular season play to get to hopefully an upswing year in playoff production is quite the gamble for a $6.5 million man.
The Flyers are so tied down by Briere’s contract and have some serious “re-tooling” to do this offseason. (Yes, unfortunately we are already talking about the offseason.)
If they keep his contract, he will only hold them back from winning. His possible playoff production is mattering less and less as his regular season play declines. It’s impossible to dislike Briere as a person, but keeping him around as a player is only going to hinder the Flyers from making the necessary changes.
Scoring is the easiest thing on a team to be replaced and the playoffs are where any player can make a name for himself (think RJ Umberger). The Flyers have capable forwards that are struggling right now, but they are not making $6.5 million.
Briere's struggles have been noticeable as of late as well. He has just five assists in his last 10 games, having not scored in that span. His last goal came on February 18 in the third period of a 7-0 rout of the Islanders.
Briere should not be amnestied because of the way this Flyers season has gone. He should be amnestied because of the way his career is going.
The upside of Briere does not appear to be much of an upside anymore. It truly is time to cut ties with number 48. And if and when that is done, the Flyers will be able to move on and start building a new hockey team.