One day before the beginning of free agency, the Colorado Avalanche have struck a major trade with the Montreal Canadiens, sending them forward P.A. Parenteau and a 5th round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft in exchange for veteran forward Daniel Briere.
Briere, who will turn 37 just before next season begins, comes to the Avalanche having spent just one season with Montreal. Prior to that, he played for the Philadelphia Flyers, Buffalo Sabres, and Phoenix Coyotes. Upon his arrival, Briere will be the oldest player on the Avalanche roster, which otherwise would have been defenseman Jan Hejda. As is usually the case when well known players are traded, there is already a great deal of speculation as to the reasoning behind the decision on the part of both teams involved.
Initially, it looks like Colorado is trying to supplement their still very young roster with someone who has a wealth of experience, which Briere certainly does. Considering his age, the move is obviously not a long term investment. It is distinctly possible that the way last season ended was the primary influence on this trade from Colorado's perspective. The team had amassed 112 points during the regular season, the second highest total in a proud franchise history, only to have the look of fish out of water in the first round of the playoffs. That series effectively showed how different the game actually becomes come playoff time. True, it was the first playoff appearance for most of the Avalanche players, and it was a learning experience for them as well. But it would seem that the front office wanted to do more to add to the team's postseason experience than rest on what was gained in April.
In all likelihood, Colorado will be back in the playoffs next year, and that is probably where the team hopes to benefit the most from acquiring Briere. As for P.A. Parenteau, he should find a steady role next season in Montreal, who has plenty of experience and was probably looking for a younger established player, which they got. On the surface, both teams appear to have found what they were looking for. Now to see how it actually pans out.Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Daniel Briere, Hockey, NHL, P.A. Parenteau