In the aftermath of the flurry of roster changes that occurred last week, there are some new faces on the Colorado Avalanche who will fill various roles on the team. The first newly acquired player to officially become a part of the Avalanche was veteran forward Daniel Briere, who is best known for his time with the Philadelphia Flyers.
After spending just one season with the Montreal Canadiens, Briere waived his no-trade clause in order to allow Montreal to trade him to Colorado for forward P.A. Parenteau. Usually, when a player is traded he is simply told that he has been traded and where he is going. In Briere's case, the Canadiens told him they would like to trade him to Colorado, and upon hearing that he gave them permission to do just that. So Briere joins the Avalanche having had the same level of control over his situation as an unrestricted free agent would have had.
Briere is a rare talent in the sense that he has had a prosperous NHL career despite his small size at 5'9" and 174 pounds. In order for anyone that size to have a successful hockey career, they have to possess great immeasurable qualities. Throughout his career, Briere has found ways to produce offensively and has never allowed a size mismatch to intimidate him. Pound for pound, he has consistently been one of the league's better players for a long time.
All that said, Briere is nearing the end of a long NHL career in which he has played 16 seasons, and over the last three seasons his production has tailed off somewhat. But he isn't being brought to Colorado under the expectation to light up the scoreboard. He will, of course, contribute offensively to a degree, but his primary role with the Avalanche will be to serve as a leader and mentor for the core of young stars on the team. Briere has played in 124 playoff games in his career, which is more postseason experience than last year's entire Avalanche team had. After seeing first hand just how much the game changes come playoff time, Colorado needed to find players who have made a living getting it done in the playoffs, and Briere fits that bill perfectly.
Because Briere will turn 37 just before the regular season starts, it can be safely assumed that he will not have much of a tenure in Colorado. But he is still capable, and even after he is gone, the impact that he makes on the younger players will continue to benefit them for a long time.Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Daniel Briere, Hockey, NHL, P.A. Parenteau