I would like to publicly thank Daniel Briere for not accepting the huge contract that Habs management felt they had to offer him.
In fairness, kudos should also go to Bob Gainey for subtly discouraging Briere from coming to Montreal by hinting that Michael Ryder would probably not be his winger.
Because Alexander Depatie II chose to land in Philly, the Habs still had the money left to make a perfunctory offer to Sheldon Souray, again subtly using non-verbal communication skills to make him feel like he was not the club's first choice, which lead to the Pylon's rejection of said offer.
The Briere and Souray dossiers dealt with, the Bleu-Blanc-rouge were finally able to go after their REAL target, Roman Hamrlik, completely transforming our defence corps, allowing us to have a premier defenceman on the ice for 45-48 minutes per game.
He's been amazing for us, and I like his game immensely, but he doesn't bring the same kind of impact that a franchise centre would.
There are certainly those out there who give more for their 6 million. Lecavalier, Thronton, Iggy (only 1 mil more, same area code). But there are those who give a lot less too. Jose Theodore leaps to mind.
I disagree. Brière is less valuable to the Flyers than Hamrlik is to the Habs. The Habs have roughly the same number of points as the Flyers despite not having Brière, Richards, Gagné, and all their other high scoring forwards. A "franchise center" like Brière doesn't play as many minutes as Hamrlik. Hamrlik can play in any situation. Brière is defensively weak and isn't doing so well at even strength, judging from his +/-, which doesn't compare to Hamrlik's. Subtract Hamrlik and the Habs' defense would be a shambles. What would the second pairing consist of? It would be out of the question to pair O'Byrne with any of the remaining crud once you look past Markov and Hamrlik (Komisarek plays RD, same as O'Byrne).