Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Briere is back....in the minors

Danny Briere, who has been out since early December with a groin injury, will make his return to the ice, only it won't be with the Flyers. Instead, the Flyers have assigned Briere to the Phantoms for a two game conditioning assignment. Briere will play on Wednesday and Friday for the Phantoms as he tries to get back to full strength.

The real reason Briere is playing for the Phantoms is the Flyers want to buy themselves some time as they figure out how to clear cap space for the return of the most expensive player on the team. The Flyers will have to clear a few million in order to make room for Briere, and that will likely take a couple of moves to get done. The Flyers could make a trade to shed salary, with guys like Joffrey Lupul or Mike Knuble being the likely candidates to go, or they will have to send several players back to the minors, like Andreas Nodl and Lasse Kukkonen.

One other move that seems destined to happen is Luca Sbisa will be sent back to his junior team. The 18 year old defenseman has had a solid season with the Flyers, but, since the return of Randy Jones, Sbisa has been caught up in a numbers game and hasn't played consistently. The best thing for the development of the young defenseman is to get as much ice time as possible and if he isn't playing for the Flyers, he needs to go somewhere else. He has more than earned his spot with the Flyers but, unfortunately, there's just no room for him right now.

With the way the Flyers are playing right now, it's too bad they have to shake up the roster at all. Luckily, any time you add a guy like Briere to the mix, you are making your team a whole lot better.

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