|Born||October 6, 1977 |
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||179 lb (81 kg; 12 st 11 lb)|
Eisbären Berlin (DEL)
|NHL Draft||24th overall, 1996|
Daniel Briere (born Daniel Jean-Claude Briere on October 6, 1977) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who plays for the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Daniel previously played with the Phoenix Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Internationally, he has won four gold medals in as many appearances with Team Canada at the 1994 World U18 Championships, the 1997 World Junior Championships and the 2003 and 2004 World Championships.
- 1 Playing Career
- 2 Career Statistics
- 3 International Play
- 4 Awards & Achievements
- 5 Personal Life
Early Playing Career
Growing up and playing hockey in his hometown Gatineau, Daniel played Bantam hockey in 1992-93 for the Abitibi Regents before graduating to the AAA Gatineau Intrepide of the Quebec Midget League for the 1993-94 season.
In his first season with the Intrepide, the team captured the bronze medal at the 1994 Air Canada Cup where Daniel was the top scorer and named Top Forward.
Soon after, Daniel was drafted by the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the 1994 QMJHL Draft. His number 14 was retired by this team on January 21, 2007 during a ceremony in the Marcel Dionne Center of Drummondville.
In Daniel's rookie season, he recorded 123 points, third overall in the league, was awarded the Michel Bergeron Trophy as league rookie of the year and the Marcel Robert Trophy as scholastic player of the year.
The following season, Daniel improved to 163 points, earning the Jean Béliveau Trophy as the league's leading scorer. He was also named the QMJHL Humanitarian of the Year and awarded the Ford Cup as offensive player of the year.
Despite a remarkable 6-game, 18-point post-season effort from Daniel, Drummondville was not able to advance from the divisional round-robin.
After Daniel was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, 24th overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, he returned to Drummondville for one more season. He recorded 130 points, finishing in the top three in league scoring for the third consecutive season and he was awarded the Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy as the most sportsmanlike player.
Graduating from major junior, Daniel split his first four seasons in the NHL between the Phoenix Coyotes (the new incarnation of the former Jets) and their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Springfield Falcons.
In his first professional season in 1998, Daniel recorded 92 points in 68 games and was awarded the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award as top rookie, as well as being named the AHL's First Team All-Star center. He remains the third leading scorer in Falcons' franchise history.
Daniel's training regimen became newsworthy in 2001 when it became known that, in order to overcome his diminutive size (at 5 ft. 10 in., he is comparatively small by NHL standards), he had begun off-season strength training with Canadian World's Strongest Man competitor Hugo Girard, who shares Gatineau as a hometown.
In the second half of the 2000-01 NHL season, Daniel earned a consistent NHL roster spot and he spent his first full season with the Coyotes in 2001–02, recording 60 points.
At the 2002–03 trade deadline, the Coyotes traded Daniel to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Chris Gratton; two draft picks were also exchanged in the trade. He continued to improve with the Sabres and was named team captain in February of 2004.
After playing with SC Bern of the Swiss Nationaliiga A during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Daniel returned to Buffalo and emerged as a bona fide NHL star, beginning with a 58-point season in just 48 games during the 2005–06 campaign.
Daniel was kept out of the lineup for 32 games due to an abdominal injury suffered in January that required surgery and a two-game suspension following an inadvertent high-stick to Boston Bruins defenceman Brian Leetch.
Completing the season with the Sabres healthy, Daniel helped lead the club to their first post-season berth in four years. During this time, he earned the nickname "Cookie Monster" from Sabres play by play announcer Rick Jeanneret for his notoriety for shooting top shelf "where momma hides the cookies."
In the off-season, Daniel filed for salary arbitration, which resulted in a one-year, $5 million contract that the Sabres agreed to on August 5, 2006.
The following season, Daniel scored two hat tricks. His first on December 5, 2006, against the Tampa Bay Lightning's goaltender Marc Denis.
Daniel's second came shortly after on January 30, 2007 in front of a home crowd at HSBC Arena in a 7-1 victory against the Boston Bruins, with two goals against Hannu Toivonen and one against his replacement Tim Thomas.
Daniel was voted in as a starter to his first NHL All-Star Game in Dallas, Texas and recorded a game-high five points (one goal, four assists). He was named All-Star Game MVP and received a Dodge Nitro that he ended up giving to his sister.
Daniel finished the season with a career-high 32 goals, 63 assists and 95 points. He added 15 points in the post-season as the Sabres made their second straight appearance in the conference finals, but they were eliminated by the Ottawa Senators.
As Daniel's one-year contract expired at the end of 2006–07, he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2007.
It was widely speculated that he would return to his home province and play for the Montreal Canadiens, but instead, Daniel signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, (who finished the previous season as the worst team in the NHL) to an eight-year, $52 million contract with a no-trade clause.
The Flyers front-loaded the deal, paying Daniel $10 million in the first season of the contract which made him the highest paid player of the league in 2007–08 along with Scott Gomez of the New York Rangers and former Sabres teammate Thomas Vanek.
Daniel's decision to join the Flyers is often attributed to the influence of his friend Martin Biron who was traded from Buffalo to Philadelphia at the previous season's trade deadline.
Daniel later cited the prospect of anonymity in Philadelphia as opposed to Montreal as an additional factor in his decision. Because of this, he was often booed by Montreal fans when the Flyers visited the Bell Centre.
Daniel's production dipped in his first season with the Flyers in 2007–08, but he still finished second in team scoring with 72 points in 79 games, behind eventual team captain Mike Richards.
On November 21, 2007, Daniel scored his third career hat trick near the beginning of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes's goaltender Cam Ward.
Led by Daniel and Richards on the newly revamped Flyers (additional off-season acquisitions included Kimmo Timonen, Scott Hartnell and Joffrey Lupul), Philadelphia went from worst team in the NHL the previous season to an appearance in the 2008 conference-finals against eventual Eastern Conference champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins. He recorded 9 goals and 7 assists in his third straight semi-finals appearance.
Less than a month into the 2008–09 season, on October 22nd, Daniel suffered another abdominal tear requiring surgery. He was expected to be sidelined at least a month, but he returned within half that time on November 8th against the Tampa Bay Lightning, however, the next game against the New York Islanders on November 11th, he suffered a groin pull, sidelining him for nine games.
In his first game back, Daniel suffered yet another setback, re-injured his groin on December 3rd against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Preparing to make a return to the Flyers lineup, Daniel was assigned to the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL on January 13, 2009 to play three games on a conditioning basis.
Daniel finished the season having played in just 29 games for the Flyers, recording 11 goals and 14 assists.
The Flyers were eliminated for the second consecutive year in the playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the eventual Stanley Cup champions. He scored one goal along with three assists in the series.
The following season, Daniel was suspended by the NHL for two games for leaving his feet to check Colorado Avalanche defenceman Scott Hannan making contact with Hannan's neck with his elbow during a game on November 23, 2009. He also suffered a tweaked groin during that season and missed five games because of it.
On February 13, 2010 (in a game in Montreal), Daniel scored a hat trick with all goals in different situations: power-play, even strength and penalty shot against Carey Price.
Daniel led the entire 2010 Stanley Cup Finals in scoring with 30 points (12 goals and 18 assists) and in the process, he broke the record for points in a postseason by a Flyer held previously by Brian Propp, who had 28 in 1987.
Specifically in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, Daniel finished with 12 points (3 goals and 9 assists) one point shy of Wayne Gretzky's record of 13 in a final, and the highest output in a final since Mario Lemieux in 1992.
During the last minute of an October 30, 2010 game against the New York Islanders, Daniel was given a five-minute cross-checking major and a game misconduct for a stick-swinging incident with Frans Nielsen. On November 1, 2010, the NHL suspended him for three games.
Daniel disagreed with the ruling, saying: "If you look at the replay, it's clearly not a crosscheck which is two hands moving forward. It's a push with one hand. The mistake I made is my stick was up there. Is it worth three games for that? I don't think so. And on top of that, I missed him. I didn't even get him... My glove grazed the top of his helmet, not my stick."
On January 19, 2011, Daniel was named as the replacement to go to the all star game for Calgary Flames player Jarome Iginla who cited health concerns about his grandmother as the reason for dropping out of what would have been his sixth All-Star Game.
He scored two goals for Team Lidstrom in the game, helping them to a 11-10 victory over Team Staal. Daniel finished the 2010–11 NHL season with 34 goals and 34 assists.
Daniel went on to record seven goals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, a postseason that saw the Flyers defeat his former team, the Buffalo Sabres in 7 games, but they fell to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in a four game sweep.
On January 7, 2012, Daniel scored his fifth hat trick as well as his third NHL fight (against Kyle Turris) on home ice. His third goal (against Craig Anderson) was the game winner in overtime as the Flyers beat the Ottawa Senators by a 3-2 score, having scored all of the Flyers' goals.
During the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Daniel and his former Flyers teammate Claude Giroux played for Eisbären Berlin of the German Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).
He played in a total of 21 games before being injured by an uncalled slash of his wrist which resulted in hyperextension and a bone bruise.
On June 18, 2013, Daniel was informed by Flyers management that he would be given a compliance buyout which ended his tenure with the Flyers.
On July 4, 2013, Daniel signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
On October 19, 2013, Daniel sustained another concussion against the Nashville Predators after a collision with Eric Nystrom which sidelined him for almost a month before returning to the lineup on November 12, 2013.
On December 12, 2013, Daniel returned to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia and he was greeted with a standing ovation by the home crowd.
|1998–99||Las Vegas Thunder||IHL||1||1||1||2||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|Junior int'l totals||12||4||7||11||6|
|Senior int'l totals||18||6||11||17||12|
|Competitor for Canada|
|Gold||2004 Czech Republic|
|World Junior Championships|
Daniel appeared in the 1994 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, a highly competitive Under 18 event even though it was not directly sanctioned by the IIHF. He scored 5 points and earned his first gold medal as Canada defeated the United States 5–2 in the final.
Three years later, during his final year of major junior in the QMJHL, Daniel competed for Team Canada at the 1997 World Junior Championships in Switzerland. He scored 6 points in 7 games and captured his second gold medal, defeating the United States once more 2–0.
Daniel debuted at the senior level with Team Canada at the 2003 World Championships and scored 9 points in 9 games. He earned another gold medal, defeating Sweden in the final.
The next year, at the 2004 World Championships, Daniel earned his fourth gold medal in as many international appearances, again topping Sweden 5–3 in the final. He tallied 8 points, to finish ninth in tournament scoring.
Awards & Achievements
Minor Hockey Awards
- Named Top Forward at the 1994 Air Canada Cup
- Michel Bergeron Trophy (rookie of the year) (1995)
- Marcel Robert Trophy (scholastic player of the year) (1995)
- QMJHL All-Rookie Team (1995)
- Jean Beliveau Trophy (leading scorer) (1996)
- QMJHL Humanitarian of the Year (1996)
- Ford Cup (offensive player of the year) (1996)
- QMJHL Second All-Star Team (1996 and 1997)
- Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy (most sportsmanlike player) (1997)
- Rookie of the Month - October 1997
- Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award (rookie of the year) (1998)
- Played in the All-Star Game in 2007 (starter)
- Named the All-Star Game MVP in 2007
- Led all players in points during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs (30)
- Played in the All-Star Game in 2011
- Philadelphia Flyers: Most points in a single Stanley Cup Playoffs (30)
Growing up, Daniel attended Collège Saint-Alexandre, a private high school in Gatineau. On August 19, 2012, his mother Constance Brunet Briere passed away from a brain hemorrhage.
Daniel has three sons with his ex-wife Sylvie: Caelen (born in July of 1998) who attends St. Augustine Prep in Richland, New Jersey, Carson (born in September of 1999) and Cameron (born in April of 2001). He has been a resident of Haddonfield, New Jersey.
In 2011, Daniel had Claude Giroux as a housemate. After Claude moved out, Sean Couturier moved in.