Flyers Have Potential Future Executive in Briere

Former Philadelphia Flyers forward Daniel Briere has developed an excellent reputation in NHL circles after his playing career. He recently made the headlines as one of the final candidates for the general manager (GM) position with the Montreal Canadiens, a job ultimately awarded to Kent Hughes. However, Briere’s relevancy in the conversation for one of the most scrutinized and coveted positions in hockey led Elliotte Friedman of SportsNet to speculate about a potential future as an executive in Philadelphia.

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Is the former prolific playoff scorer a fit to enter the Flyers front office in a time of desperation and uncertainty?

Danny Briere- Hockey Executive, Former Player

Briere played six seasons for the Flyers from 2007-2013 as part of a 17-year NHL career with five different organizations. He scored 283 points in 364 regular-season games in orange and black, but his biggest contributions came during the postseason. The Quebec native set a franchise record for points in a single postseason with 30 during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he averaged over a point per game in 68 total playoff contests with the Flyers.

After his playing career ended in 2015, he joined the Flyers organization as a special assistant to former GM Ron Hextall. He began with the Maine Mariners of the ECHL in a role as Vice President of Operations in 2017 and moved into the President and Governor position in March 2021. He has remained involved with the Flyers organization in the player development realm since. He also received consideration for the assistant GM job with the Arizona Coyotes during the 2021 offseason. 

Related: Clarke, Hextall Controversy Indicative of Flyers Fall from Grace

He has advanced through the initial levels of front office work and appears primed to take on a prominent role in an NHL organization. The Fourth Period recently spoke to Briere about his ability to “work in all departments and get his feet wet across all facets of the organization” in his climb through the ranks. 

“It would be fun (becoming a GM), but I try not to get lost in it too much…The approach that I have is, when I played, everything was so intense as a player. You’re always worried about the next day, if you’re going to be on the first, second or fourth line, if you’re even going to be in the lineup. Are you going to be on the powerplay or penalty kill? You’re worried about a month from now, are you still going to be part of the solution. You’re worried about your contract, how long your career is going to be. You’re always looking ahead. What I try to do now is live in the moment as much as possible, enjoy what’s in front of me.”

-Danny Briere

His perspective shows humility and a willingness to continue to work hard to earn any promotions he might receive. 

Flyers, Comcast Looking for Answers

Comcast Spectacor owns both the Flyers and the Mariners, a connection that Friedman insisted should not be overlooked. Jeff Marek appropriately pointed out on Wednesday, “When someone wants you from another organization, your value to your organization grows.”

Danny Briere Flyers
Daniel Briere, Philadelphia Flyers (Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE)

The Flyers are in the midst of tremendous uncertainty within their organization. The team has limped through two 10-game losing streaks in the first half of the season. Barring a miracle comeback in the second half of the season, they will miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since the early 1990s. Tough conversations about internal evaluations will occur in the upcoming months. 

Although GM Chuck Fletcher doesn’t appear to be on the hot seat immediately, there are few certainties in the future of the Flyers. Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic speculated about the possibility of the organization giving consideration to other front-office candidates who can present a reasonable long-term plan, while also acknowledging the case for retaining Fletcher.   

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The Flyers have a long history of hiring their alumni in prominent roles in the organization. 24 of their past 25 playoff appearances since 1984 have come with a former Flyer as the GM. Comcast will need to consider Briere’s potential as a future candidate for a key role in the front office, whether as a GM or in another expanded role in the hockey operations department with the Flyers next season. Standing at 5-foot-9, he won’t fit the profile of tough guys like Bobby Clarke, Paul Holmgren, or Craig Berube who have made contributions to the organization after their playing careers. However, his gradual climb into the ranks of well-respected NHL front office decision-makers should push Comcast Spectacor to recognize the value he can bring to Philadelphia in a time of need.