Tag: Danny Briere


It’s Montreal Canadiens day on PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team?  The Montreal Canadiens.

After the Montreal Canadiens finished 2011-12 with a disastrous 78 points, they shook up their front office by bringing in Marc Bergevin to serve as the new general manager. Bergevin in turn hired former Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Michel Therrien to once again serve as the team’s bench boss.

Bergevin and Therrien’s first season saw the Canadiens improve by leaps and bounds for a number of different reasons. For one thing, top-tier offensive defenseman Andrei Markov enjoyed his first healthy campaign in years and P.K. Subban took another step forward en route to winning the Norris Trophy. The duo played a prominent role in Montreal going from one of the worst power-play teams in 2011-12 to the fifth best last season.

Montreal was also led by a youth movement, including rookie forwards Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk. In fact, four of the team’s top six scorers and five of their top eight are 24 years old or younger.

With their improved offense, Montreal managed to capture the Northeast Division title, but they imploded against the Ottawa Senators in the first round. Goaltender Carey Price struggled towards the end of the season and that carried over into the playoffs.

After dropping three of Montreal’s first four games against Ottawa, Price was held out of Game 5 due to a knee injury. Backup Peter Budaj proved to be equally ineffective against the Senators and thus the Canadiens’ postseason run ended with a 6-1 defeat.

Offseason recap

The Canadiens have plenty of young players in their core and they’re on an upward trajectory, so Bergevin wasn’t inclined to make major changes this summer. That being said, they did make one big splash by signing Danny Briere to a two-year, $8 million contract after his previous deal was bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers.

At the same time, they watched 2013 midseason acquisition Michael Ryder walk as an unrestricted free agent. He ended up signing a two-year, $7 million deal with the New Jersey Devils.

Montreal claimed forward Michael McCarron with the 25th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.


Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

Briere excited to get his Canadiens career underway

Danny Briere

Danny Briere’s return home to Quebec has him gushing over getting to play for the team he grew up adoring.

Stu Cowan at the Montreal Gazette hears from the 35 year-old veteran who is feeling like a kid again after making his first visit to the team facilities.

“I grew up a Canadiens fan so pulling on that jersey for the first time today was special,” Briere said.

“Today was my first time in the dressing room. I’ve seen the Bell Centre a lot but it’s nice to see it from the good side.”

Briere will be donning his familiar No. 48 with the Canadiens and looking to step into a lineup that’s not lacking in offensive talent.

Montreal may not be run-and-gun the way the Flyers have been, but skating alongside Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty could help Briere get back in the goal column more often.

Flyers GM: ‘I think we improved our team a lot’

Paul Holmgren

From the net on out, the Philadelphia Flyers will look very different next season. They spared no expense to do so.

Of course, the question is: was it all worth it? GM Paul Holmgren told CSNPhilly.com that he’s very happy with the results.

“I think we improved our team a lot,” Holmgren said. “We added a very good puck-moving defenseman that’s going to bring us more offense from the back end (Mark Streit). We added, in my opinion, still one of the better players in the game in Vinny Lecavalier … And adding Ray (Emery) to bring in along with Steve Mason, I think, solidifies our goaltending position …”

“More importantly, we kept what we think is a real good nucleus together. We didn’t do anything to dismantle anything.”

Some might say that spending all that money for Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov to not play for the team might count as “dismantling,” but that’s in the past now.

Along with questions about the Mason-Emery duo, people wonder if the addition of Streit is enough to turn around a woeful defense. Holmgren explains that some of the ugliness came from a rash of injuries. Even if he’s just saying the right things, Holmgren said he doesn’t expect to make more moves.

Still, he noted “you never say never on anything,” which might as well be the Flyers’ team-building mantra at this point.