Daniel Briere Out Four More Weeks

Robert SkorochockiContributor IJanuary 22, 2009

Heading into this week, it looked like Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren was going to be faced with a bit of roster juggling.

After playing in three games with the AHL Philadelphia Phantoms and reporting his groin as "100 percent", it seemed like the return of center Daniel Briere was upon us and the Flyers were going to eventually be about $2 million over the NHL salary cap.

Fast-forward three days and it's a whole new story.

Briere underwent  successful exploratory surgery on Thursday morning, sidelining him for at least another month according to Holmgren.

The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Briere, the highest paid Flyer, whose cap hit is $6.5 million this season, hasn't been missed too much by the Flyers this season.

Anytime you add a player of Briere's caliber to a lineup, it's a positive thing.

However, looking at the Flyers record this year, it shows Briere isn't as desirable as everyone thought.

The Flyers are 2-4-3 this year with Briere in the lineup and are 23-8-6 without him in the lineup.

The above numbers are just that, numbers.

The Flyers, collectively as a team, had a rough start to this season, posting a 0-3-3 mark.  Briere was in the line up for all six of those games and is not the sole reason the team started so poorly.

There have been rumors over the last month speculating that Briere should be traded.  Many believe with the emergence of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, Briere is no longer a top center on the Flyers roster. 

Looking at Briere's numbers, the Flyers offense could use them, especially on the power play.  Sure it's tops at home in the NHL, but on the road, it has been a dud.  Five-on-five, the Flyers haven't been the greatest the season.

Briere's return, despite being a career -25 as a Flyer, could be a strong boost.

In 88 career games with the Flyers, Briere has posted 81 points.

In 20 playoff games last Spring, he posted a team high nine goals and 16 points.

One positive note about another Briere setback is Paul Holmgren will not have to deal any of his players until trade deadline time come March.

Another thought that many people seem to be forgetting about is this is the same type of injury that plagued Peter Forsberg for two and a half seasons as a Flyer.

Will Danny return this season at all?

If not, will the Flyers trade for another center?

Paul Holmgren has about a month to decide, but can he trust Danny Briere's groin?