Daniel Briere: What a difference a year makes

29Jun07

It sounds like Daniel Briere is turning down a roughly 5-year, $25 million offer to remain as captain of the Sabres. Let’s all flashback to just about a year ago when Briere was prepared to go to arbitration with the Sabres…

From our friends at Sabre Rattling:

My hope that Darth Regier and Cap’n Danny would come to terms on a long-term (read 3 to 4 year) contract before his hearing with a 3rd party arbitrator is fading fast. Al Strachan is thinking Briere could get Havlat-esque money in today’s hearing. I think Strachan’s a drunk moron.

Most probably Danny will get a 1 year deal worth between 3.5 and 4.25 million and Regier will consider shopping him at the deadline to recoup something for their effort.

And the result from TSN:

Buffalo Sabres star Daniel Briere has been awarded a one year, $5 million settlement through arbitration.

The two sides had been trying to work out a long term deal, but were unable to reach an accord before the arbitrator’s ruling. The contracts signed by Martin Havlat, Marian Gaborik and Alex Tanguay were apparently used as benchmarks in this case.

Well, crap, Briere wanted $5 million a year before unrestricted free agency, and now that freedom looms, he’s going to get a crapload more on the open market. In fact, Briere should easily pull in $6 million, if not up to $7 million should some GM decide to go nuts (as has been prone to happen come July 1).

So is Briere just that much more awesome this year than what he was a year ago? Of course not. His points-per-game is comparable; however, in the 05-06 season, he was injured for about half of it, and the question came up about his overall durability. Now that he’s proved that, his value goes up.

In some ways, I feel for Darcy Regier. Last year, he was kinda trapped — if he caved in and gave Briere the long-term $5 million/season deal his co-captain wanted, he would have been criticized for overpaying a guy coming off a huge injury problem and never eclipsing the point-per-game mark. Of course, now Regier looks like an idiot because Briere played to that level for a full season and now the Sabres can’t afford him.

Where’s Doc Brown and that time machine when you need it?

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