While this has not officially happened yet, the rumors are abound that the Flyers have informed Danny Briere that the organization will use one of their two compliance buyouts on the 35-year-old winger and his $6.5 million salary. Not only are the rumors rampant, but Briere himself seems to think he will be bought out as well. Briere is fresh off one of the worst two-year stretches of his career, a stretch where he shot under 10% in both seasons, well below his career average of 14.4%.
Briere is still pretty decent offensively, capable of putting up 15 goals and 50 points, and can play both center and right wing. However, this year was just an atrocious performance for Briere, who posted a 0.9 OGVT and 0.8 DGVT in the lockout-shortened year. While he has never been a defensive stalwart, the 0.9 OGVT is a significant drop from the 7.5 OGVT of last season. The big decision here is determining whether or not this horrible season –where he shot an abysmal 6.9%– was an off-year or a sign that the 35-year-old has hit a wall.
Looking back at Briere’s metrics, he was a major puck possession driver in the 2009-2010 season, leading all Flyers with a 10.1 RCorsi. However, that appears to be the last season where Briere actually posted a positive RCorsi, despite being used in favorable situations (Corsi Rel QoC always under 0.3, always over 50% OZone starts). In 2010-2011 his RCorsi was -0.3, 2011-2012 was -3.1, and this 2013 season was -1.8, all with minimal variation in his Corsi Rel QoC and OZone start percentages.
On the scoreboard, Briere still managed to post 50 point seasons despite his declining puck possession ability, but it wasn’t until the past two seasons where we saw his goal totals take a big hit, dropping from 34 in 2010-2011 to just 6 in 34 games this season (16 in the 2011-2012 campaign).
Briere’s name is going to be brought up many times when the Flyers officially buy him out, but this is a classic case of buyer beware. Briere has a name value, but he has been declining in all major categories over the past three seasons. Briere isn’t just on the wrong side of 30, he’s on the wrong side of 35 as well. There are better top-six options available for the Rangers, even if he does come at a likely discounted price.