Danny Briere admitted that the Philadelphia Flyers buy out felt like a door closing. Still, he also acknowledged a different door opened by signing with the Montreal Canadiens: a chance to prove himself once more.
He’ll have plenty of doubters after a dismal 2013 campaign, too.
“My whole career has been about finding the motivation to bounce back,” Briere said. “Coming to Montreal makes it really easy. There’s no better motivation than having the chance to play for the Canadiens. Last season was definitely one where I wasn’t happy with the way things went and I’m going to do everything in my power to turn that around. I’m hoping I can prove to everyone it was just a fluke.”
The 35-year-old admits that he dreamed of playing for the Habs as a child.
“Deep down, I’ve always been a kid from Quebec who wanted to play for the Canadiens,” Briere said. “I’m lucky to be able to have a second chance like this to be able to [sign with] Montreal. It’s a huge honor for me to play here. For me, Montreal Canadiens fans are probably the most passionate fans in the NHL. It’s an honor to be playing for them and in front of them and all I’m hoping is we’ll all be cheering in the same direction when the season starts. We’ll be pushing along together to rack up some wins.”
Of course, Briere and the Canadiens must excel for this to truly be a story of redemption.
Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.
“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”
Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.
The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)
Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:
The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)
The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)
Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (NHL.com)
Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)