Should the Montreal Canadiens sign Danny Briere?

USA TODAY Sports

After losing out on Vincent Lecavalier, there have been rumours going around that the Habs are in on Danny Briere. Is that actually a good idea?

Recently bought-out scoring forward Danny Briere is looking for a new job, and as Pierre LeBrun of ESPN and TSN stated, he's been in conversations with Marc Bergevin over the last couple of days.

Being fairly tight against the cap last summer and with important restricted free agents to sign like Carey Price, Lars Eller, and P.K. Subban, this will be the first summer for Bergevin where the free agent market may be appealing, and Briere is the first real test of his aptitude.

What do I mean by that? Briere is likely the worst value for money buy on the market this summer.

At 35 years old, Briere is in the midst of a steep decline in talent, and he still wants both term and big money according to reports, as much as $5M a year. Worse than that? Even at his best, Briere is a one-dimensional offensive forward who gives up more defensively than he provides offensively, even while being sheltered and playing against weak opponents.

Briere has had just one positive possession season in his last six, and the decline in his performance has been severe. To contextualize this we can look at his possession numbers over the last few seasons, combining seasons to get bigger samples.

Duration Corsi for % Goals for %
Five year sample (2008-2013) 49.5 53.2
Four year sample (2009-2013) 50.0 53.3
Three year sample (2010-2013) 48.5 53.7
Two year Sample (2011-2013) 48.5 48.1

Briere has been sheltered at close to 55% offensive zone starts and played against 3rd line competition ever since he joined the Flyers. This, combined with a healthy dollop of great luck over the years, allowed Briere to outscore his opponents while being outplayed, but this has come to a sudden crash over the last two years.

Briere has seen a similar crash in his even-strength production:

Duration Even Strength Goals per 60 minutes Even Strength Points per 60 minutes
2007-2011 1.128 2.305
2011-2013 0.395 1.395

From this perspective, it's even worse. In a sheltered role Briere was a heck of a productive player, but he's completely dropped off a cliff since the 2010-11 season. He's gone from very productive to below every top-9 forward on the Habs last year, and roughly equivalent to Louis Leblanc as a rookie.

Obviously Briere's puck skills and instincts are still useful on the powerplay, but does he deserve to get onto the PP over any of the current top-9 Habs? I'm not so sure about that.

Considering Briere's cost, I don't see any way that acquiring him could be a good move. This is a real test for Bergevin. Is he actually an astute talent evaluator, or will he break under the pressure to sign a hometown boy?


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Eyes On The Prize

You must be a member of Eyes On The Prize to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Eyes On The Prize. You should read them.

Join Eyes On The Prize

You must be a member of Eyes On The Prize to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Eyes On The Prize. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker