Oh captain my, capitaine?
Much has been made about the captain situation in Philadelphia. So much so, that you would think it was the grumblings of discussion not a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the earth on Tuesday. Ever since we said goodbye to the man who many thought was the captain for years to come, this has been the number one topic of conversation in the city of brotherly love. Many say that Chris Pronger is a shoe in. But not so fast. There is another rider in the storm of controversy that may just be the right fit.
Briere began his career with the Phoenix Coyotes. He split much of his time between Phoenix and their AHL affiliate Springfield Falcons. After four seasons with the Phoenix franchise he was traded to Buffalo for Chris Gratton and two draft picks. Briere showed leadership qualities and eventually became the captain of the Sabres. As well as earning the "C", Briere played lights out hockey. He was the linchpin that led the Sabres to the conference finals in 2006, leading the team in playoff points (19).
Briere has a captain-like demeanor about him. He obviously has the experience to go with it. Briere is a generally soft spoken French Candian, but as every Flyer's fan is well aware, Danny can have a nasty streak to him. Which the captain, the natural leader on the ice, needs to have every once in awhile.
There is one thing about Briere that stands head and shoulders above every other intangible that the Gatineau native carries. The man is clutch. Hands down, no doubt about it. When the chips are down he gets it done.
Now granted there are other roles that a captain needs to fulifill. But who better to don the "C" than a man who has ice water in his veins and vulcanized rubber on his.....well you get the point. Briere simply performs when it counts.
Think about this, what were the chief complaints about the previous captain? He was invisible at times? His media skills rivaled that of Jane Goodall's co-workers? When we needed a spark he was nowhere to be found?
Take a step back and think about the diminutive French Canadian who, to overcome his size, trained with World's Strongest Man competitor Hugo Girard. He gives 100% every single night, when he needs to step up and get physical he does, and when the cards are on the table he gets the job done. In 97 career playoff games Danny has tallied 42 goals and 54 assists for 96 points. A point a game clip in the most intense and grueling competition in the modern sports world is a very impressive feat.
What do you look for in a leader? Someone who will take charge when the proverbial "shit" hits the fan? Someone who will step up and be the guy who leads the team to the promised land? Well look no further than #48. He has proven time and again that he will carry the team on his shoulders and perform when the going gets tough. Danny is the leader that this team needs
It's time to put this captain discussion to rest.