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Montreal Canadiens

Deconstructing the Briere Trade Rumours

USATSI_7654889_154158418_lowresThe trade rumours circling Daniel Briere have been gathering steam again as of late, especially considering his recent benching on the Montreal Canadiens. Head coach Michel Therrien did not explain the reasons for benching the forward, but one has to imagine that Briere isn’t all that happy being in the doghouse.

The 36-year-old clearly wants out of Montreal, but a lot of this situation comes down to his own lack of productivity. In 30 games with the Canadiens this season, he has just 13 points (including seven goals). Those are hardly numbers that justify his $4 million salary.

Rumours have been running wild that suggest Briere wrapped up in a few possible moves, most of which include a return to the Buffalo Sabres. Names like Steve Ott and Drew Stafford have been tossed around in the mix.

Some outlets are reporting even more tantalizing possibilities, with Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin reported as openly shopping Briere. The Winnipeg Jets are in the mix due to Montreal’s interest in Evander Kane, plus the Colorado Avalanche have come up with Paul Stastny in the last year of his contract.

Again, however, these are just rumours.

The takeaway is that Danny Briere is unhappy in Montreal and Montreal is unhappy with Danny Briere. He has a no-movement clause that will have to be waived in order to get a deal done, but that shouldn’t be a problem given the state of affairs with the Habs.

Briere is nowhere near the player he used do be, of course, but that doesn’t mean he can’t produce from time to time. At this point, any move to the Sabres would likely have to include a struggling player – like Stafford – and not an established component. Stafford is in an identical contract situation to Briere as well, so that could theoretically grease the wheels of a deal.

Another option in the wings is for the Sabres to toss a lower draft pick over to Montreal in exchange for Briere, which would clear a contact for the Habs that they have no interest in having. Depending on their sense of urgency, they could wind up getting next to nothing for Briere – or they could continue to let him sit.

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