Daniel Briere considering retirement after 18 NHL seasons

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes a save on a penalty shot by Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers late in the third period during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers makes a save on a penalty shot by Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers late in the third period during the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Has Daniel Briere skated his last shift in the NHL?

Alain Sanscartier of RDS and Ottawa 94.5 FM reported on Thursday that Briere will announce his retirement this summer after 18 years in the NHL, most recently with the Colorado Avalanche. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Sanscartier predicted that Briere would find a post-career job with the Philadelphia Flyers, with whom he played the majority of his NHL games (364).

In an interview with La Presse, Briere would only confirm that retirement is weighing heavily on him after finishing his contract with the Avs (translated from French):

Brière spoke to us from Philadelphia, his adopted since his time at the Flyers. This is where her three boys, ages 14, 15 and 16, attend school and play hockey. And this is where Briere lived in the year until the summer of 2013, when the Flyers acquired his contract and he ended up with the Canadian.

Remoteness weighed heavily the last two seasons, and it is for this reason that Daniel Brière does not know, today, at 37, if you see him again one day on the ice in the NHL.

"The big deal is to think of my family, he explains. I just missed two seasons of their hockey, two years of school where I was not there to help them. At some point, you have to take a step back and analyze everything. I will not take the decision alone. I want to tell them about it, have their thinking, feeling.

"I would play, I still love the game, I have a passion for hockey. But there is something else in life. I must think of three little men. I was a bit selfish the past two years to pursue my dream. "

Briere said he’s prefer to find a team in the East that he could sign with, but knows options are limited. He also said that he’d call it a career when he knew he could stick to the decision.

"It always annoyed me to see players who retired and then change their minds. So I do not want to close the door as long as I'm not sure of my shot,” he said.

If this is the end for Briere, he’ll be remembered for playing much bigger than his (listed) 5-foot-9. He was a tough bugger, and was more than willing to give as much as he got when it came to cheap shots. (The knob of the stick to an opponent’s face off the draw was a specialty.)

He scored 307 goals and had 389 assists in 973 games with the Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens. He’ll always be remembered for that massive 8-year, $52-million contract he signed after leaving Buffalo for the Flyers. There were times he was worth the $6.5 million cap hit. Those times were the playoffs.

He had 116 points in 124 playoff games. That’s ridiculous. In the Flyers’ run to the Cup Final in 2010, he had 30 points in 23 games to lead the team, including 12 goals. I know we’re supposed to avoid the application of the word “clutch” like we’re supposed to avoid putting an important on plus/minus in our analytical age, but what else could you call Briere?

Quite a career if this is the end. Andy Dudones has more on Briere’s legacy as a Flyer.