Danny Briere might be a perfect fit for the Senators ... if he were four inches taller and 40 pounds heavier. But as much as the NHL game now has more room for lightweight forwards than it did a few years ago, Ottawa already has too many of them in Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Cory (Little Train) Conacher, Erik Condra, Kyle Turris and (on the way) Mike Hoffman. That's not to mention Erik Karlsson and Andre Benoit on the back end. "All their small sweaters are in use," is the way one NHL executive put it. That said, the generously listed 5-foot-10, 179-pound Briere -- whom the Philadelphia Flyers set free with a compliance buyout this week -- should probably expect a call from Senators GM Bryan Murray. He's just too good not to consider. At 35, he's still got game. The best of it is generally seen in the playoffs, where he has scored 50 goals and 109 points in 108 career appearances. Briere would help answer the Senators' need for speed and skill, if not size, and he's from Gatineau, a good guy who would mesh smoothly with the dressing room chemistry. He'd also make the retirement of Daniel Alfredsson easier to withstand, whether it be this year or next, and he would be an extremely positive influence and example for Pageau, who calls Briere his idol, and Conacher, who also needs to learn how to survive and thrive in a small sweater. Before the Senators offer Briere a contract, however, other moves will have to be made, either with their current Top 6 forward group or involving the undersized guys they already employ. And Murray must be contemplating that, as well as all sorts of options, as the most crucial time of the off-season, the free agent period, starts July 5. My two cents: Unless they know they can add a better forward or two -- and there will be many available -- the Senators should pass on Briere, who is certain to get a two-year offer from somebody. He could be one more hit to the head from becoming the next Marc Savard.
Senators shouldn't rush to sign Danny Briere
Ottawa Sun | Jun 23