Does Daniel Brière want out of Montreal?

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

According to one source the Brière experiment might be coming to an early end.

According to Luc Chenier, former QJMHL player and current Gatineau Olympiques play-by-play man, Danny Briere, or rather Daniel Briere no longer desires to play for head coach Michel Therrien.

These rumours, and let's be honest that's all they are at the moment, seem to be based off Brière's current lack of ice time and his tempered production. Apparently Brière wants to play at centre, and doesn't enjoy his placement on the wing.

You can listen to Luc Chenier on 104.7 FM describe Brière's woes here. (French, Brière talk starts at 4:30). It's worth noting that Chenier claims that Brière asked Therrien for a trade, which sounds a little backwards as it would be Marc Bergevin who would make the decision to trade him.

Does this sound too good to be true? Absolutely. The biggest hurdle at the moment in trading Brière's contract is not necessarily his lack of production, but his ill-advised no-trade-clause. I'm not sure how many teams are looking for a declining player who's best days are long behind him, especially a player who supposedly demanded a trade after 23 games.

During those 23 games Brière produced 5 goals, 5 assists, and 12 penalty minutes, on par for his production last year that led him to be bought out by the Flyers. He's currently being bounced around the 3rd and 4th line, and has been averaging 12 minutes and 49 seconds of ice time per game. As it stands Brière (2.04) is currently fourth on the team in terms of points per 60 minutes of ice time, behind Alex Galchenyuk (2.53), Michael Bournival (2.08), and Tomas Plekanec (2.10).

I can't say I blame Brière for his speculated frustration, as he has produced at a higher rate than fellow diminutive forward David Desharnais, despite missing several games due to a concussion. Yet he has not been afforded the same amount of opportunities to succeed as Desharnais.

If it were up to me and I had to make a decision to trade one of the players, it would be a no-brainer. Despite Brière's age and obvious decline I would attempt to trade Desharnais first. The term of his contract (four more years) makes his cap hit a bigger albatross to the Canadiens cap space situation than Brière's contract, that happens to run out next summer.

Most are still scratching their head as to a logical reason why Marc Bergevin signed the declining player, and although this rumour is a long-shot, it would present Bergevin with an easy way out of a bad decision. It's not that Brière is a bad player per say, but rather that Montreal's roster situation can't really afford another under-sized forward.

However, we should temper our expectations when it comes to this speculation. The source is somewhat dodgy, and as it stands Daniel seems to be saying all the right things to the media in respect to his limited role on the team.

Is this rumour true? Probably not, as most rumours prove to be false, however it does illustrate a major issue with the Habs roster situation, in that there's only space for one diminutive centre on the team.

There's only so much sheltered ice time to go around.

More on Daniel Brière from Eyes on the Prize: Should the Montreal Canadiens sign Danny Brière?

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