Monday, March 25, 2013

Briere's concussion could be the start of a fond farewell

The word going around on a possible Danny Briere trade was that one would be difficult, given that Briere would need a lot of convincing to waive his no-trade clause. Now, the 35-year-old forward may not even get the chance to change his mind.
Briere, it was announced via the Flyers' Twitter account Monday, is dealing with the effects of a concussion. It's believed he incurred it at practice Saturday, when he went into the boards during what everyone from the players to coach Peter Laviolette termed "intense" practicing.
Briere, who is listed as being out indefinitely, and defenseman Nick Grossmann both missed Sunday's 2-1 overtime loss in Pittsburgh due to what had been called upper body injuries. Grossmann, who practiced Sunday morning with the club, was said to have been hurt Friday. He is listed as being out day to day without a detailed diagnosis.
One of those hockey mystery injuries that comes ... from practice?
“Well, that's part of hockey. That happens," Kimmo Timonen said Monday. "That tells you how hard we practiced (last) week. Sometimes, you need to practice hard and get some practice time. You never want to lose two players due to practice, but it is part of the game and I have seen that happen. Hopefully those guys get back soon.”
For the Flyers, the injuries could not have come at a worse time. Briere hadn't scored in 13 games, but anytime he's out of the lineup he's missed. Grossmann has probably been the Flyers' steadiest defender all season.
Now they're out as the Flyers begin a five-game homestand that better produce at least three or four wins or else the white flag might be raised to half-staff at the Skate Zone.
Briere has 123 goals and 280 points since joining the Flyers as an unrestricted free agent before the start of the 2007-08 season. But over 96 regular season games the past two seasons, he's scored but 21 goals. None of that speaks to his consistent excellence as a playoff performer, but then, the odds were already stacked against him and the Flyers when it came to giving Briere the chance for another postseason run of redemption.
Now the odds are even greater.
Briere last suffered a concussion Jan. 21 of last year. He missed six games. Even a mild one this time would likely keep him out 7 to 10 days, but one lengthier than that could be hurtful to his status here. Considering Briere's dropoff in production and his $6.5 million salary cap hit, he'd be a likely candidate for the Flyers to use a roster amnesty exemption on this summer.
The Flyers would thus be able to wipe that figure off their cap for the next two years, while paying only two-thirds of the remainder of what Briere's front-loaded contract still called for, which is $5 million over its final next two years.


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