Could Daniel Briere be playing on Sidney Crosby’s right wing this season. Although unlikely, It’s not a far fetched idea, but the Penguins better move quickly to get into the sweepstakes.
Briere, 35, has drawn interest from over 15 teams and NHL sources say he prefers to the stay in the Eastern Conference, have a top-6 role and join a playoff contender. “He really wants to win a Stanley Cup,” an NHL source said.
With talks between the Penguins and Pascal Dupuis remaining very challenging, the Penguins are starting to look at Plan B options. While nothing formal has happened, the Penguins have held internal discussions about Briere who turns 36 in October. Briere’s camp is aware of this and feel Pittsburgh would be a good fit for Briere, sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
Briere’s agent is Pat Brisson of CAA Sports who also reps Sidney Crosby. Brisson and Penguins GM Ray Shero have an excellent relationship.
I’m told Briere prefers to play center with his next team but Pittsburgh would be one of the few exceptions out there he’d consider playing wing for. “Most places he’s not keen on playing wing, but the idea of playing with 87 or 71 makes everyone keen,” an NHL source close to Briere said.
While the Briere camp is intrigued about Pittsburgh, do the Penguins see Briere as a potential fit?
I’m told there’s mixed opinions inside the organization and that it’s probably not going to happen, but he’s not been ruled out yet.
Briere had an injury plagued 2013 season with 6 goals and 16 points in 34 games. Turning 36 in October is a serious concern but he’s a little different than a Jarome Iginla because of his skating ability and different skill set.
What could intrigue the Penguins at the right price on a one year deal is that under Peter Laviolette, Briere played a similar system to what the Penguins play under Dan Bylsma.
Briere has 50 goals and 109 points in 108 playoff games. He’s always been a clutch playoff performer, among the reasons he’s coveted.
A few scouts I’ve heard from feel the skill set and skating ability is still there and injuries is what derailed Briere’s season, most notably the wrist injury.