Leading up to July 5th, the first day of NHL free agency, we will be profiling various free agents that we believe the Predators could or should pursue. Today we continue with Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere…
Position: Center / Wing
2012-13 Stats: 34 GP, 6 G, 10 A, 16 PTS, -13
Previous Contract: 8 years, $52 million
Projected Cap Number: From $3-4 million
Why the Preds should pursue: One reason why Danny Briere is an attractive free agent around the league is his ability to come through in the clutch in the postseason. Briere has 109 points in 108 career playoff games, including a huge showing in the 2010 playoffs during Philadelphia’s run to the Cup final. Throughout his career he has had a knack for being in the right place at the right time, knowing where to go to score goals and cashing in when he gets that opportunity. His still has some offensive creativity despite his age and would also be a really good pro for the Predators’ youngsters to learn from.
Why the Preds shouldn’t pursue: When the 2013-14 season begins he will be 36 years old. He’s coming off arguably his worst season as a pro and his production has been on the decline the last two seasons. After a 34-goal, 68-point campaign in 2010-11, he tallied 16 goals and 49 points in 2011-12; six goals and 16 points in 34 games in 2012-13. Some observers in Philadelphia believe Briere has lost a lot of speed, which has always been a strength to his game. He also has just played one full 82-game season in his career, missing an average of 18 games over the last five seasons. Giving him a contract any longer than two or three years doesn’t seem wise.
Where he would fit: At this point in his career Briere is better suited for the wing than down the middle. He and Colin Wilson could potentially be a nice 1-2 combo if Wilson moves to the center position for good. Briere has always been a power play producer, so he would help Nashville in that area. A bounce back season from him may be enough to make up for the loss, offensively, of Martin Erat.