Flyers Buy Out Danny Briere
Philadelphia Flyers' General Manager Paul Holmgren released a statement today confirming that they will use one of their two compliance buyouts on forward Danny Briere, ending his tenure with the team after six seasons.
The team will have to pay Briere $833,333 for the next four years as per the compliance buyout rules in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. His cap hit of $6.5 million will not count against the salary cap this season.
"This was a very difficult decision to make as Danny has been a very good player for us over the past six years," Holmgren said in his statement. Holmgren informed Briere a week ago that he would be bought out, the forward said in a press conference today.
Briere signed an eight year, $52 million contract on July 1, 2007 after a four-year stint with the Buffalo Sabres. Briere was considered one of the three gems of that offseason, amongst peers Chris Drury and Scott Gomez.
Briere posted 124 goals and 159 assists in 364 regular season games as a Flyer. He made his money in the playoffs, in which he posted 37 goals and 35 assists in 68 playoff games with the Flyers. Briere holds the Flyers record for most playoff points in a single postseason with 30 in 2010.
"I just want to say thank you to all the fans and my teammates for the wonderful last six years here," Briere told Anthony SanFilippo of PhiladelphiaFlyers.com. "Also, I want to thank the Flyers organization for treating me so well during my stay here. I will always be grateful to everyone around the team for my time spent as a Flyer."
Some of Briere's career highlights include snapping a 10-game losing streak in Buffalo with the shootout winning goal against his old team, the game winning goal in game four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against Montreal in 2008, and essentially every point he scored in the 2010 postseason.
In a press conference today, Briere noted that he plans to live here after his career ends, which he hopes will continue to last two or three more years.
"Wherever I’m going to end up, the kids are staying here and I’m coming back here," Briere said. "This is my home – this is what we consider home now."
Briere is now an unrestricted free agent, and if the team wants to have him back, he cannot re-sign with the Flyers until next season due to the compliance buyout rules.
Here are some quotes from Briere's press conference held this afternoon. Transcript courtesy of the Flyers everso hard-working PR. Thank you.
On his time in Philadelphia and plans going forwards:
I’ve been here a long time. This is home now for me and my family. So yes, it’s not an easy day. But at the same time, I’ve seen all the rumors and reality was it was going to happen. It’s sad, but at the same time hopefully it’s new doors that open and new opportunities. Obviously I’m not very happy with the way last season went, but it’s also extra motivation moving forward to prove I can still play. Hopefully I have a few more years.
On his favorite moment as a Flyer:
The one that I think stands out the most was the  playoff run – making the playoffs on the last regular season game, on a shootout, and going on that run all the way to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s definitely probably the best little stretch of my time here.
On how his three children factor into his decision where to play next:
To be honest, I’m not sure at this point. There’s a lot of things that we will have to consider. Obviously the kids… we’ll have to consider also if it’s a team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup or not, a team that might have a role for me or not. So those are all questions that at this point I don’t really know, and I don’t know which one’s going to take over. Obviously I would prefer to be close to the kids, but we don’t know if it’s going to be an option or not.
More on his children, who range from ages 12-14 and play hockey in South Jersey with other Flyers families:
I’m sure they’ll come visit me, but their home base will be here. School, hockey, all their friends, all the sports they play, they’re already set up. They’re at an age where it becomes tougher to move them around. So they will be staying back.