Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | August 4, 2011

Man of the Day 8/4: Danny Brière

Daniel Brière

Born October 6, 1977 (age 33) in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

Center for the Philadelphia Flyers

So I said to myself, “Who should be your next MotD pick?” I thought about it and chose Danny, but you can’t profile him and not his buddy as well, so his other half will come tomorrow.

Danny began in the midget leagues in his hometown, eventually being drafted by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Drummondville Voltigeurs in 1994. In his rookie season he had 123 points and won the Michael Bergeron Trophy as rookie of the year. He outdid himself the next year, earning 163 points and garnering the Jean Béliveau Trophy as the league’s highest scorer, the Ford Cup for offensive player of the year and being named the QMJHL Humanitarian of the Year.

When the 1996 NHL Draft rolled around, he became the first pick of the newly renamed Phoenix Coyotes (formerly the Winnipeg Jets) but chose to spend one more year in Drummondville, racking up 130 points and winning the QMJHL’s Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy for most sportmanlike player (not to be confused with the NHL’s Frank J. Selke Trophy for best defensive player). When he moved to the Coyotes, he spent his first four seasons bouncing between them and their AHL team, the Springfield Falcons. He finally made the Coyotes roster in middle of the 2000-01 season and played a full season with them in 2001-02.

Cut to the trade deadline for the 2002-03 season, and Danny was sent to the Buffalo Sabres, where he became captain after a while (I will soon point out that this could be relevant). During the Season That Never Was, he played in  Switzerland, but he returned to the Sabres and led them to the playoffs in 2006 for the first time in four years. The next year, he scored not one but two hat tricks against Tampa Bay and Boston, made the All-Star team and was named its MVP and led the Sabres to their second straight playoff appearance.

When his contract expired at the end of the 2006-07 season, he became Free Range Hockey Player (a UFA) and chose the Philadelphia Flyers (when asked why he chose Philly over Montreal, he said that he’d be anonymous there as opposed to Quebec; this is why he gets booed a lot when the Flyers play the Habs). He got off to a rocky start in his first three years, fighting injury and being sent back to the AHL for conditioning. But he did lead the Flyers to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals and earned 12 points, one short of Wayne Gretzky.

This past season, he made the All-Star team as a replacement for Jarome Iginla and scored two goals that helped Team Lidstrom win. He also earned 68 points (34 goals, 34 assists) in the season and helped the Flyers to another postseason, where they beat the Sabres but were swept by the Boston Bruins.

A flashback to his Sabres days.

 As a member of Team Canada, he’s racked up gold in both the World U18 and World Junior Championships, and he earned back-to-back gold in 2003 and 2004 at the World Championships. That’s a lot of hardware.

Rumor has it that with the departure of former captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings, Danny is in contention to be captain of the team, along with Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger. We’ll see what happens once training camp starts.

 Danny is a single father to sons Caelan, Carson and Cameron, and because of this situation he felt the need to not only help a fellow teammate out by sharing his home with them, he would have a housemate to help with the boys. Who is it? Tune in tomorrow to find out…

Danny and his boys. Not sure who is who, but the boy on the left is the spitting image of his daddy.

 – Krista


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