Honestly, sometimes the jokes write themselves.
I was going to talk about Danny Briere’s concussion and No Trade Clause, but I typed “No Trade Claude.” Why yes, that’s exactly what I meant.
It’s April, the Flyers are last in the Atlantic and I… won’t say anything mean. I still don’t like them and that’s all.
However, as you know, my traitorous heart does love Danny Briere. It’s beyond reason. Out since suffering a concussion in practice on March 23, Danny was back on the ice with the team yesterday. He could play as soon as Saturday vs. Buffalo. [link]
Danny talks about his injury and the process of returning here.
Now, why do I even mention this?
1) Concussions can go to hell. For any player on any team… just the word turns my stomach.
2) I have a not-so-secret wish for the Flyers to make the playoffs and face Pittsburgh in the first round. I shouldn’t play with fire, but I’d love see the Pens redeem themselves for last year’s debacle.
3) Will Danny get traded
to somewhere I can love him openly?
MOST IMPORTANT. There has been a lot of talk about Briere’s future with the Flyers. His contract is $6.5 million with two years left (Update: WRONG. Read comment below from KC!). Last season, Danny was way off his goal-scoring pace, despite personally terrorizing me during the playoffs. (Seriously – Briere got 16 G in 70 games all year, then 8 G in 11 games during the playoffs.) He’s also 35, which is NOT old because we are NOT old but we’re almost that old. In a few years.
Rumors flew that multiple teams were interested in acquiring Briere before the trade deadline, but Danny said publicly he would not waive his No Trade
Claude Clause (UPDATE: It’s a No Movement Claude, which means no AHL either. Thanks Jess.). The man loves Jersey, okay? His adorakids go to school there, Gingeroux is there, it’s precious. There was speculation the Flyers might try to push him [link]. If there were ever a viable window to acquire value in exchange for Briere… it passed when he got hurt.
He traded one problem for another.
Now the best/worst solution is for Danny to come back and play well. He could still help the Flyers make the playoffs. At the same time, it may prove his viability to other teams. The better he looks, the more they’ll offer and the harder Philly might lean on him to accept. Late career trades and waived NTCs are the new dance crazes, don’t you know?
There is also the new CBA’s Amnesty Clause, which the Flyers could use to buy out Danny’s contract this summer. He’d still get $6.5 mil/year, but the Flyers would free up that amount under their salary cap. [link, link] They’ d rather have something to show that money, but at least the Amnesty Clause would let them spend it twice.
Does anyone know: If the Flyers buy out Briere under the Amnesty Clause, does he become a UFA (like with a regular buyout)? Could he get $6.5 mill/year AND play somewhere else? If that’s true, I wouldn’t waive my NTC either. I’d make the Flyers play me or pay me, because I know I can get paid to play somewhere else when it’s over.
(Best we can figure, he’d get 2/3 of $5 million. See below.)
Now we’re past the trade deadline, and Danny is still a Flyer. If he storms the playoffs again, maybe he convinces the Flyers not to use the Amnesty Clause. He could scrape into next season and get another crack at… what? Being worth $6.5 million? It seems unlikely. The Flyers need that money and they need it this summer, when teams are more willing to negotiate.
Of course, this Flyers’ summer might be only 10 games away. Philly fans have had a rough year – we know a few, and like them anyway. Lord knows we’ve all been there. So here’s Captain Claude saying nice things about them in perhaps the most orange environment even caught on film.
If Danny gets a buyout or waives his NTC, I promise you a very Persuasive Power Point Presentation on why he should come to one of my teams, co-written by @linzerellak (as suggested by @alisonsykora).