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Montreal signs Briere: two years, $8 million

Jul 4, 2013, 5:28 PM EDT

Danny Briere AP

Daniel Briere is headed home.

The Quebec native, recently bought out of his deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, has agreed to join the Montreal Canadiens on a two-year deal, the club announced on Thursday.

According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, Briere’s deal is for $8 million, with a $4 million annual cap hit. Combined with the Flyers buyout ($825,000 per year for the next four years), Briere will make nearly $5 million in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Update: the contract also has no-trade and no-movement clauses, TVA’s Louis Jean reports.

As mentioned above, the signing represents a homecoming for the veteran forward.

Briere, 35, grew up in Gatineau and played his junior hockey for Drummondville of the QMJHL.

This deal also marks a reconciliation of sorts. In 2007, Briere spurned the Habs as a free agent, opting instead to sign with Philadelphia despite the Canadiens offering a similar deal.

Here’s a recap of that decision, from a 2008 Sports Illustrated piece:

The fit seemed logical. Brière grew up a bleu, blanc et rouge fanatic (even though his hometown of Gatineau is a few miles outside Ottawa), and when his contract with the Sabres was up, the Canadiens were prepared.

They arranged for Brière, who had led Buffalo in scoring during the regular season (95 points) and in the playoffs (15), to meet with Habs legend Jean Béliveau.

They also offered a menu of enticements, including help with finding a house near the sprawling greenspace of Parc du Mont-Royal and a good school for his three sons, now nine, eight and seven.

But Brière saw a greater advantage to signing with the Flyers, who had nowhere to go but up. After finishing with an NHL-worst 56 points and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1994, they had acquired forward Scott Hartnell and defenseman Kimmo Timonen to complement a young nucleus that included forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter

While the Montreal deal is a nice story, there are concerns that Briere only adds to a group of diminutive forwards that got pushed around at times last season.

The 5-foot-10 Briere now joins a lineup featuring David Desharnais (5-foot-7), Brian Gionta (5-foot-7) and Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9).

  1. channelguy - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Fair price. Good contract length. And fills a big Hab need for an undersized centerman.

    O wait.

    Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

    • tdrusher225 - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      He’s probably a winger on the Habs

      • rsmaggiemae - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:47 AM

        Montreal with signing Briere will have such a small team.
        Look at the average height and weight of the players who will go beside Briere
        I had thought they would go after someone bigger as they did not fare well with the Boston team size wise
        Will he be welcomed to Montreal, as he did not want to play thier in the beginning of his career???
        Just asking

      • tdrusher225 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        I guess they’re trying to play to their strengths which is speed and skill. I don’t think trying to compete with Boston in the size and strength department is smart. Look how it turned out for Buffalo. There is no one way to win and I think playing to and developing an identity is not a bad strategy.

    • elrock7 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      yeah 4 mil a year sounds fair for someone who racked up a whopping 6 goals, and what, 9 assists.

      • elrock7 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        …and 35 years old at that

    • usg1 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      LMAO, I am not saying you are one of them, but there were so many Habs fans laughing at Flyers fans for the deal Lecavalier got from the Flyers saying it was too much and here you are saying the Habs got Briere for a fair price.

      Now, Vinny’s contract might be 3 years longer than Briere’s but he is also 2 years younger. Vinny doubled Briere’s point total last year by the way.

  2. sergeikremlin - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Nice to see a hometown player not afraid to enter the jungle in Montreal. Will fit nicely with their forwards

    • ray2013 - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Gatineau is 100 miles from Ottawa, but Francophones are beloved in Montreal so it seems like a pretty good fit.

      • ray2013 - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        Gatineau is 100 miles from Montreal. lol. He would have been a hometown kid if he signed with the Senators.

      • rigatonikid - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        Ummm…better check your atlas. Gatineau-Hull is directly across the Ottawa River from Downtown Ottawa

      • ray2013 - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        yeah, I made a type there. I meant 100 km from Montreal, and that if he was looking to return home, it would be to the Senators, not Montreal. Thanks.

  3. phillyhockey - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Will they still boo him every time he touches the puck?

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    LMAO Hahahaha. The French Canadian returns to Montreal when nobody else want them. And the Habs are like the street corner hooker.

    BTW, I posted this comment under an article. So spare me the lecture. I didn’t see this article before I posted

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      In case you are wondering why this is funny…..

      valoisjoeybfeld69 – Jul 2, 2013 at 11:25 PM
      Yep! The French return to Momtreal when no other team wants them. Maybe Vinny will be wearing a Habs jersey after his contract with the flyers expires.

    • kirkmcleansbaby - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      And it’s still not funny this time either!

      Why you feel the need to post the same lame joke in back-to-back articles is beyond me!?!?! *faceplam*

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        Moron. I explained why in my post. Move on!

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jul 5, 2013 at 4:23 AM

        I call your *facepalm* and raise you a *moon* :-)

  5. hockeyfan28 - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Danny was great in Philly just don’t expect much in regular season he makes his money from April on

  6. 19to77 - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Giving them four top-six centres for some reason I’ll never understand, three of which are under six feet tall.

  7. isithockeyseasonyet - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Class act, now, Montreal, I know this is hard…but…show some class back

  8. drewzducks - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Pee Wee hockey in Montreal. Hilarious.

  9. crazemastercraze - Jul 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Time to trade for Zenon Kenopka for grit/toughness

  10. Exiled1 - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I just looked on google map. Gatineau is right across the street from Ottawa.

  11. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    “29 teams want to get bigger. Everyone is looking for the same type of players. They don’t grow on trees. We will look at trades, but I won’t trade a young player to fill one specific hole. You build through the draft.” Bergevin… They struck out on Vinny, they get Briere… strike 2. Is Ryan Clowe big enough for the Habs? How about Clarkson? Hal Gill! Maybe Briere can convince Simon Gagne to sign with Monteal.

    8 million $$$$ for a small player, which are not lacking in Montreal, Yikes!

    • valoisvipers - Jul 4, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      Another day, another Smurf.Habs are getting smaller and older everyday.

  12. rsmaggiemae - Jul 4, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Briere is good but he is really worth 4 mil a year..
    What is Giroux going to do now, as he lives with Briere and teaches his 3 boys french.
    Giroux will have to spend some of his reported 8 mil a year on a home of his own…
    But its good he is back where french is spoken… he must love that aspect of the move

  13. aldog83 - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Should have broke bank for Lecavalier.

    Philly basically swapped out Briere.

    The Canadiens should not be getting the Flyers scrapps.

    Both teams have young talent.

    But POOR Goaltending that lead to Playoff DEMISE!

    (Maybe new Canadiens Goalie Coach from Chicago will help Price like he did Niemi and Crawford)

  14. jason9696 - Jul 4, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    I guess he’s one of the taller smurfs.

    • sizzle299 - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      Danny is a veteran NHL center with a ppg playoff average on par with the greatest players in the history of the sport. What’s YOUR excuse fatboy?

  15. sportsfaninyyc - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    The only silver lining is it’s only a 2 yr. deal. This signing pisses me off. The team needed to get bigger and younger, and, as a Habs fan, I didn’t think we’d have a real run at the Cup for at least 3-4 more years, when some of the kids drafted in the last few years like Tinordi, Beaulieu, etc. were ready. Big waste of 8 mil.

  16. vipod4ever - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    5 years to late, 5 inches too short…Habs need youth and size…why don’t they get that?

  17. brotherlove2012 - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    It’s Nis Savard all over again. Briere is at the tail end of good career but he is nowhere near the playwr he once was. This is a bad signing unless they get rid of Gionta and get a bigger center, If not they will even more undersized. This signing makes no sense at all, for now…

  18. brotherlove2012 - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:48 PM


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  20. vanindeed - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    This is the best buy out pick-up

  21. montrealbbr - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I like this move because he can play when it really matters, playoff time!

  22. greenmtnboy31 - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Worst move of the off-season and shows Montreal hasn’t learned their lesson from the Gomez mess.

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