Forward Danny Briere is preparing to become an unrestricted free agent as part of the Philadelphia Flyers’ offseason shakeup of their high-priced roster.
A person familiar with discussions confirmed on Wednesday that Briere has been informed by the Flyers that they intend to buy out the final two years of his contract. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Flyers have not announced their decision.
The move will shave $6.5 million off the Flyers’ salary cap. Philadelphia had one of the NHL’s most expensive payrolls last season, and has been forced into a position to shed salary in order to get under next season’s cap, which will drop from $70.2 million to $64.3 million.
Under NHL rules, teams have the option of two amnesty buyouts to terminate contracts before the start of the 2014-15 season.
The Flyers are still on the hook to pay Briere two-thirds — about $3.3 million — of the $5 million the player was owed as part of the eight-year, $52 million contract he signed in free agency on July 1, 2007.
Briere is a 15-year NHL veteran, who had six goals and 10 assists in 34 games last season. He’s a seven-time 25-goal scorer, but his production has tailed off as a result of various injuries, including a concussion and a broken wrist.
Overall, Briere has 286 goals and 659 points in 847 games split between the Flyers, Buffalo Sabres and Phoenix Coyotes. He’s been even more productive in the playoffs, having scored 50 goals and 109 points in 108 games.
Griffins win Calder Cup
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Grand Rapids Griffins won their first Calder Cup on Tuesday night, defeating the Syracuse Crunch 5-2 in Game 6 of the AHL’s championship series.
The Griffins, who led the series 3-0 with two chances to close out the title on home ice, instead celebrated in front of a capacity crowd of 6,375 fans in Syracuse.
It is the first league title in the 17-year history of the Griffins franchise, including the last 12 as members of the AHL and the last 11 as the top affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.