Flyers Buy Out Briere’s Contract

USATSI_7219829_154158418_lowresThe Philadelphia Flyers have announced their intentions to buy out the last two years of Daniel Briere’s contract, ridding the team of $6.5 million a year in salary.

This move will help the bulging Flyers get under the lowered cap for next season, which is moving from the current $70.2 million to $64.3 million. Teams have the option of two amnesty buyouts, which I speculated on when reporting that Philly was looking to ink defenceman Mark Streit.

“I just want to say thank you to all the fans and my teammates for the wonderful last six years here,” Briere said. “Also, I want to thank the Flyers organization for treating me so well during my stay here. I will always be grateful to everyone around the team for my time spent as a Flyer.”

So now, the Flyers will pay Briere 75 percent of what’s owed to him from the original eight-year deal he signed back in 2007 when he landed in Philly as a free agent.

The move is instructive because it proves where the Flyers are going. By padding things up defensively with Strait and kicking Briere to the curb, it’s clear to see that GM Paul Holmgren is swapping offensive needs for defensive needs.

“I met with Danny last week and informed him of our decision to use a compliance buy out on his contract. This was a very difficult decision for us to make as Danny has been a very good player for us over the past six years,” said Holmgren. “Danny came to our organization as a free agent in July of 2007 and has been a tremendous player, person and role model in all aspects and for that we thank him. We wish him continued success and best wishes in any future endeavours.”

Briere, who has 15 years of NHL experience under his belt, hit the 25-goal mark seven times over his career thus far. He only had six goals in 34 games last season, however, and a series of injuries has tapped his production considerably.

Still, Briere is still a value player and could wind up somewhere – albeit with a reduced salary in tow. Speculation has suggested a possible return to the Phoenix Coyotes or the Buffalo Sabres, although there’s nothing more than rumours to go on right now.

Whatever the case may be, the buyout reflects reality in the salary cap world. And even with Streit on the books, the Flyers will still have to find a way to make some room before next season.

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