The Philadelphia Flyers have historically never been big players in free agency, but sometimes the slightest additions can make the biggest differences.
It’s entirely possible that nobody knows this better than newly-minted Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere. This weekend, Briere brokered his first two free agent signings after conducting his first-ever NHL draft. In the draft, Briere drafted Denver Barkey, who is somewhat comparable to Briere, back when he played. Briere, of course, was drafted 24th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996 and played for both the Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres before making his way to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Once upon a time, on July 1, 2007, Daniel Briere signed an eight-year, $52 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. Although Briere was bought out of his contract on June 20, 2013, he left Philadelphia as a franchise legend. In six years with the Philadelphia Flyers, Briere scored 124 goals and 283 points in 364 games. In the playoffs, Briere scored 37 goals and 72 points in 68 games. In short, Daniel Briere was better as a Flyer than he was anywhere else in his career.
In addition, Daniel Briere served as a leader for the Philadelphia Flyers organization for multiple years. During his time in Philadelphia, Briere mentored young future stars like Claude Giroux, Brayden Schenn, Jakub Voracek, Sergei Bobrovsky, James van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Braydon Coburn. Although the Philadelphia Flyers were unable to win a Stanley Cup with Briere on the team, and fell just short in 2010, they’ve made it past the second round of the playoffs just once since his departure in 2013. With Briere back in the fold and in charge, the Philadelphia Flyers are poised to change that in a few years. Briere’s mentorship as a player brought a bad, young team back to contention in just a couple of years. If anyone knows what the Flyers need to do it again, it’s Briere.