Monday, March 25, 2013

Homer Sez: Briere has concussion

The plot thickens regarding potential trades involving veteran players, as the Philadelphia Flyers announced on Monday that struggling forward Danny Briere is out indefinitely with a concussion.

The 35-year-old missed Sunday's 2-1 overtime loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins after suffering an injury during a Saturday practice session when he hit the boards hard during a one-on-one drill.

Briere has failed to post a goal since scoring twice on Feb. 18 on Long Island, a 13-game drought, and has totaled only five goals and 13 points in 26 games. He endured a 23-game dry spell from January through mid-March a season ago.

With two years remaining on the free-agent deal he signed here in the Summer of 2007, Briere was the most likely candidate to waive a no-trade clause and help the Flyers move forward with their roster given the lowered salary-cap next season. He is making $7 million this year with a $6.5 mil cap hit, and is due $3 million next year and $2 million in 2014-15.

But with the absence coming just nine days before the trade deadline, Briere's health becomes a wild-card in the make-or-break dealings for the club until April 3 passes. There is an open spot on the roster in the top six forwards, but another name to take Briere's place if he's out in the long term can only realistically come in a trade which involves another body going out.

Also, defenseman Nicklas Grossmann was pronounced day-to-day with his upper-body injury that caused his absence on Sunday.

This news is not promising, as the Flyers begin a crucial stretch in the postseason hunt with the first of five straight home games on Tuesday against the New York Rangers.

The Flyers rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, five points out of the final playoff spot.

Later on Monday, the club announced that it recalled forward Tye McGinn from the Adirondack Phantoms. McGinn had been sidelined by a fractured orbital bone around his right eye suffered in a fight against Mike Brown of the Maple Leafs on February 25.

Since his recovery and assignment to Glens Falls, he's totaled eight points in four games.

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