With a new year comes a whole load of new rumours and speculation in the hockey world. Right now on twitter everything from the Olympics to upcoming trades and news of hirings are swirling around, but there is one rumour that has caught the attention of us here at SabreNoise. There is some talk that the Buffalo Sabres- despite not having a General Manager- are in talks with the Montreal Canadiens over a former Buffalo Sabre by the name of Danny Briere.
— Sabres Front Office (@SabresFront) January 2, 2014
There has been a lot of talk that Daniel Briere is not happy in Montreal and is looking for a trade out of town, but would coming back to the Buffalo Sabres make sense for either party?
Briere was drafted 26th overall in the 1996 draft by Winnipeg Jets and was acquired by the Buffalo Sabres in 2003 after a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes. With the Sabres Briere overcame his small stature as he continued to develop and was eventually named the captain of the Buffalo Sabres.
During his time with the Sabres Briere became a legend of sorts. He was beloved by the fans- myself included and helped lead the Buffalo Sabres to the conference finals in both 2005 and 2006. He earned the nickname captain clutch and had a special way of setting HSBC Arena- at the time- a buzz. His most impressive performance in his three and a half season’s with the Sabres was the 2007 season in which he racked up 95 points, no Sabres player has come close to that mark since he left.
But as much as his strong play united Sabres fans, when he left town on July 1st, 2007 it left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans, and for that exact reason the Sabres should not trade for him. It may be poetic justice for him to end his career in Buffalo, but after he stuck the team and sent them into this tail spin, why should the Sabres take a much less dominate player back?
While Briere can still put up around 50 points a season, the rough and tumble game has begun to take a toll on his 5 foot 10, 36 year old body and he has not played a full season since his days with the Sabres. Since leaving Buffalo he started a history with concussions and as a result has scored 30 goals just once in the last 5 season’s.
What do the Buffalo Sabres need? They need, strong, tough forwards, who can score at least 30 goals and are willing to stay with the Sabres through the rebuild- that is not Briere. There’s a strong chance Briere won’t score much more than Cody Hodgson or Drew Stafford and there’s a strong chance he will once again bolt from the Sabres once his contract is up. Does Danny Briere want to come back to Buffalo? The town he once called home to finish his career? Who know’s, but he is not what the Buffalo Sabres need going forward.
Danny Briere is not the same player he once was when he don the blue and gold, he’s older, become more sustainable to injuries and will not score at the rate the Sabres need going forward. The Sabres need young players with bright NHL future’s willing to work hard for a rebuilding team, not a guy rolling back into town to write a wrong before he rides off into the sunset.
Stay tuned for Tim’s take on the matter and let us know in the comments whether you would welcome Briere back to town or not.