Sabres Fans Crushed After Hearing Daniel Briere’s Comments How He Left Buffalo
There are few players in Buffalo Sabres history who are more treasured to fans like Daniel Briere.
Briere's career with the Sabres did not last very long, but he left a huge impression on the fans in Buffalo.
In March of 2003, Briere was traded to the Sabres at the NHL trading deadline in exchange for Chris Gratton. Briere was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996 and after a few years of spending time with the Coyotes and their minor league affiliate, the Springfield Falcons.
Briere had a breakout season in 2001-2002, scoring 32 goals and 60 points, but Briere struggled with his plus-minus numbers and he was deemed expendable by the Coyotes.
Briere had ended 2003 on a good note with 7 goals in 14 games, and then had a tremendous year in 2003-2004 as the Sabres barely missed the playoffs.
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After the NHL lockout in 2004-2005, the league came back in 2005-2006 and Briere was the centerpiece to the most dynamic offense in the NHL for two seasons, along with fellow co-captain Chris Drury.
Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Maxim Afinogenov, Brian Campbell, Ryan Miller and company were amazing and it was the best two-year stretch for fan support ever in Buffalo for the Sabres.
Briere was also as clutch as could be. Him and Drury scored countless game-tying and game-winning goals for Buffalo those two years, in the regular season and postseason, and it seemed like this team, and those two, would be here forever.
However, as most Sabres fans know, the summer of 2007 did not go the way we wanted it to.
Both Briere and Drury left in free agency on July 1st, 2007, just mere hours apart. Briere signed with the Philadelphia Flyers and Drury with the New York Rangers.
Sabres fans still blame general manager Darcy Regier, managing partner Larry Quinn, and owner Tom Golisano for how those negotiations with Briere and Drury went down, and the fact they did not prioritize Briere enough.
The long-thought thinking is that the Sabres wanted Drury back over Briere, thinking they could not afford both, and as it turns out, Briere and Drury wanted to be back in Buffalo, but it had to be together.
Briere, who was recently announced as the new assistant general manager for the Philadelphia Flyers, was a guest on the "After the Whistle" podcast with former Sabre and teammate Andrew Peters, and fellow former Sabre defenseman, Craig Rivet.
Briere told the podcast that him and the Sabres "never really had any discussions."
Briere went to arbitration the year prior and couldn't negotiate until the new year, according to him on the podcast.
"The thing is Chris Drury and I wanted to play together, we wanted to keep the team together," said Briere.
"If one was going to sign, it was coming as a package," added Briere.
Briere said that the team has conversations with Drury, but did not have any conversations with the team until four or five days before free agency.
By then, it's best to just wait for the start of free agency.
That is incredibly tough to listen to for Sabres fans. We all had a feeling that's how it all went down but to hear Briere confirm that he wasn't a priority is gut-wrenching.
Sabres fans will never forgive the organization for what happened in 2007. The front office personnel involved are not there anymore, but fans still hurt here in Buffalo over it.
It's a great listen with Peters and Rivet that you can hear here.
That hurts so much. I was in a Wegmans parking lot on Niagara Falls Blvd. that day (July 1st), when I heard the news. I'll never forget it.