Danny Briere will be in the Philadelphia Flyers’ lineup today. He’s not sure how many more times that will happen.
Briere, who missed the past 10 games with a concussion, will enter First Niagara Center accompanied by questions about his future. The former Sabres captain admitted this week he’s a candidate for a compliance buyout after the season.
“It’s reality,” Briere told reporters in Philadelphia. “All I can control is for me to come back in the lineup and play as good as I can.”
He typically plays well against Buffalo, putting up 14 goals and 23 points in 28 games. He also played very well in Buffalo from 2003 to 2007, which led the Flyers to sign him to an eight-year, $52 million contract.
Briere has two seasons left on the deal, with an annual salary cap hit of $6.5 million. His actual salary is $3 million next season and $2 million in 2014-15.
The salary cap is dropping from $70.2 million to $64.3 million next season, and the Flyers have already committed $65.5 million, according to CapGeek.com. The new collective bargaining agreement includes two compliance buyouts, which is where Briere may fit in.
For $3.33 million in cash, the Flyers can buy out the 35-year-old Briere, his contract and its accompanying cap hit.
“Everybody understands that the revenues are going to go down, and a lot of teams had prepared for two, three, four seasons ahead,” Briere said in Philly. “Those teams are going to pay the price because they had their salary structure set already, so it’s a chance for helping the owners out with the new rules of the CBA.
“Obviously, I end up paying the price. But you know what? There’s been so many good things that have turned up in my favor over the years that I’m not going to complain about that.”
The recent concussion was the latest setback in a forgettable season. Briere opened the year on the sidelines after suffering a wrist injury in Germany during the lockout. He’s put up just five goals and 13 points in 26 games.
Sabres owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, will join Buffalo Mayor Bryon W. Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Polancarz in front of the arena for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the HarborCenter project. The 1 p.m. event will feature several guest speakers and media availability.
The Sabres and Flyers will face off at 3 p.m.
The Sabres did not announce whether anyone will be called up from Rochester to take the roster spot of defenseman Tyler Myers, who is out for the season after suffering a broken bone in his leg Thursday against Montreal.
Buffalo had just five defensemen at practice Friday. Forward John Scott, who was a healthy scratch last game, has NHL experience on defense but didn’t do any work along the blue line during the workout.
The Amerks hosted Oklahoma City on Friday night. Potential call-ups from Rochester include Alex Biega, Drew Schiestel, Nick Crawford and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc.
The Sabres’ 5-1 loss to Montreal was televised by CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada,” and their cameramen filmed a close-up of Buffalo center Steve Ott attempting to lick the face shield of former Dallas teammate Jeff Halpern during a faceoff.
Ott, who was penalized earlier this year for blowing kisses to Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf, had an interesting reaction to a question about the incident.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Ott, who then broke into a huge grin and screeched while bolting away.