(Born on October 6, 1977) -- The Buffalo Sabres and Daniel Briere were a match made in heaven. He was never better than he was here.
Briere was born in Gatineau, Quebec, and he became a top junior hockey player. The forward once scored 130 points in 59 games for Drummondville. However, he was on the small side, and was taken only 24th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 1996.
It took Briere a while to settle in at the NHL level, and he never scored more than 60 points in a season for Phoenix (formerly Winnipeg). Buffalo traded Chris Gratton to the Coyotes for Briere, and it became one of the best trades in Buffalo hockey history.
Briere seemed to get better and better with the Sabres, capping it with a 95-point season in 2006-07. He averaged about a point per game in the playoffs, too.
But free agency called in 2007, and Briere took a huge offer (eight years, $52 million) from the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s played five seasons with the Flyers. Briere has been good there, even leading the NHL in playoff points in 2010, but he hasn’t matched his old standards.
--- Budd Bailey