Something has been lost in all the ballyhoo that is the
Philadelphia Flyers’ 2009 off-season.
What with the signing of Pronger, Emery, Boucher, Laperiere, etc, a
certain diminutive center (who can play the wing) has been put in the corner of
the locker room, and covered with dirty hockey socks and jock straps. He has been forgotten by most, and
dismissed by even more. Maybe it’s
the fact that he played only 29 games last season whilst battling a bugger of a
groin injury. Or maybe it’s that
huuuge contract he signed two years ago, you know… the one with the “No Trade Clause.” Using the great words that Patrick
Swayze uttered to Jennifer Gray in Dirty Dancing, I have a few reasons why
“Nobody puts Danny in the corner.”
Exhibit A would have to be reaching the 30 goal mark in each
of his last two seasons before getting injured, with 14 lamp lighters coming on
the man-advantage in his first full season with Philly. Exhibit B would be his post-season
performance a year ago where he scored 9 goals and 7 assists for 16 pts in 17
playoff games. Now, I know what
you’re thinking. This was all
before he blew out his groin. To
that I respond that various Flyers beat writers have reported that Danny has
been in the training facility working out and skating on a daily basis for a
majority of the summer. He says he
feels good, and they say he looks good.
But that’s not game shape you say! True, and I respond to that with word out of Quebec that
Danny was quite impressive in “À
bout de soufflé,” a charitable hockey tournament featuring other NHL-ers like
Chris Letang, Stephanne Robidas, Jack Johnson, Jason Pominville, Patrice
Bergeron and you’re very own Claude Giroux. Briere finished number one in scoring with a rumored (google
translator be damned) 13 goals and 16 assists in just four games. I know, its not NHL hockey we’re
talking about… but the man is at least back on the ice.
recall that just last season Flyers-lifer, Simon Gagne, was returning from a
lost year at the hands of Post Concussion Syndrome. He bounced back to have a very productive and healthy year,
scoring 34 goals in 79 games. Perhaps
Briere can take a cue from his fellow countryman and do the very same. The Flyers lost a lot of goals when Knuble and Lupul left via trades and free agency. A healthy Danny can help soften that blow.
UPDATE: The Flyers have signed 6’2, 211 pound
defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen to a one year contract, per Eklund. The former Blue Jacket is a gritty and
reliable stay-at-home defenseman and Norwegian, only the second to appear on
the Flyers in the history of the franchise, the other being Patrick “Krukker”
Thoresen. Monies were not
disclosed as of yet.