Danny Briere: Is He To Blame For The Flyers' Cap Issues?

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IApril 29, 2009

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 15:  Forward Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates with the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during game one of the 2009 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Mellon Arena on April 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Flyers were hampered all season long by the salary cap, and were forced to make moves they did not want to make.

They had to waive Glen Metropolit and Ossi Vaananen.  They were forced to trade Scottie Upshall for Danile Carcillo to give the team some wiggle room.

All of this for one player: Danny Briere.

Briere played only 29 games in the 2008-09 season and went under the knife a few times while attempting to comeback from injury, and each time he tried, another player needed to go.

When he was finally healthy enough to play more than a game, the Flyers were forced to waive Metropolit and Vaananen.

Then the trade deadline came, and with no flexibility at all, the Flyers traded Upshall for Carcillo in an attempt to dump some salary.

That move didn't pan out the way it was expected.

Instead it actually hurt the team's chemistry more than Paul Holmgren expected.

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"Ossi, Metro, and then losing Scottie [Upshall], it sucks losing people,"  said Mike Richards.  "It messes with chemistry a little bit, having good guys in the room, and having that extra defenseman for depth.  It kind of hurt going down the stretch."

It was clear that the Flyers missed Upshall's energy and that move hurt the chemistry the most.  In the first game without Upshall, the Flyers lost 5-1 to the Calgary Flames.

Part of the reason why they had to move Upshall was because of Briere's cap hit.  The Flyers could not afford Upshall with Briere on the books anymore.

When the Flyers signed Briere in the summer of 2007, they brought him in to be the top-line center.  He hasn't been that.

Instead, he is a third line winger playing with rookie Claude Giroux.  Don't get me wrong, the Flyers' third line would be a second line on some teams, but paying a guy $6.5 million to play 12-15 minutes a night is not worth it.

I think that Briere is a great talent with a lot of offensive skills.  He is a great powerplay guy and he has very good vision, but he is a offensive player alone.

Briere has a no-movement clause in his contract.  In order to trade Briere, the Flyers would have to get an approval of Briere.

Would he waive his no-trade clause?

With how the season went, I wouldn't be surprised to see him waive it if the Flyers came to him and ask.  Of course, they would have to get a list of teams he would want to go to first.

But its not that simple to trade Briere.

The Flyers would have to find a suitor, make sure that suitor has the cap space and has the assets you want in return.

Can they trade him?  Yes.

Will they trade him?  Doubtful.

Should they trade him?  That's up to you.

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