Why Danny Briere is Unlikely to Join the Flyers Coaching Tree in 2021

NHL: APR 13 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals -Game 2- Flyers V Capitals
13 April 2008: Washington Capitals goalie Cristobal Huet (38) of France stops a shot in the 3rd period taken by Philadelphia Flyers center Daniel Briere (48) of Canada in the Eastern Conference NHL quarterfinal playoff game at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Flyers defeated the Capitals 2-0 in the second game of the Eastern Conference NHL quaterfinal playoff game to even the series.

The Philadelphia Flyers coaching tree recently welcomed Ian Laperriere. Could Daniel Briere be the next hire to join Laperriere’s committee?

Within the Philadelphia Flyers organization, the rumor mill is buzzing. Chaos reigns, especially as the NHL readies itself for the second offseason during the pandemic era. As one additional franchise arrives in the NHL, the existing franchises have many negotiations to iron out. Those negotiations are not exclusive to player contracts. Around the league, coaches are taking on new roles.

Most recently, Ian Laperriere accepted the head coach role with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Naysayers will stubbornly state that he is not ready. Under this particular regime, Laperriere could be the right hire. He acts as a pipeline, preparing the prospects specifically to suit Alain Vigneault’s system.

A few examples already stand out on the Flyers roster. This season, Joel Farabee broke out on the stat sheet. Laperriere’s history with Oskar Lindblom is about as open a coach-player relationship can be. Bridging the prospects to the NHL is one part of his role. The other is readying a “winning environment” as articulated by Chuck Fletcher.

He will not do that alone, which is why the organization needs to flank Laperriere with helpful assistants.

On the bench, early indicators point to Nick Schultz filling in for Laperriere. He was a player development coach who spent three seasons on the Flyers throughout his fifteen-year NHL career. Laperriere is making himself comfortable. Who could have his back in the AHL?

Daniel Briere would be a heck of a name to drop. Especially considering how he can coach the young forwards on the way to the NHL.

Why Is Briere A Great Fit?

He is tailor-made to fit as a coach with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Ian Laperriere, in part, was appointed the head coach of the Phantoms because of his “innate ability to connect with people.” Chuck Fletcher continued, “I think the players will want to play very hard for him.”

Daniel Briere is the same kind of leader. His relationship with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier helped mature those players into leaders. Both of those players are the longest active captain and alternate captain. They fuel a franchise.

Between Laperriere, a man that knows his hockey, and Briere, the Philadelphia Flyers system could bring the best from their prospects. Leadership, and the ability to make an organization a place to be a part of, creates intangibles with wild potential. There are players to be excited for in the AHL who are not a permanent fixture on the Flyers. Laperriere will instill trust within the locker room. Briere could profoundly impact prospects like Tyson Foerster, Jackson Cates, Matthew Strome, and Zayde Wisdom.

Philadelphia appreciates the athletes that have fun. A “winning environment” means coaches command excellence while balancing a healthy player-coach relationship.

Professionally, that starts rooted deep within the development of the players in Lehigh Valley.

But Is He Being Considered For the Flyers Vacancy?

Nothing has officially stated that Daniel Briere is under consideration for a role with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He and Nick Schultz both shared an office with Ian Laperriere this week, however. If Schultz is potentially a candidate for a Philadelphia Flyers assistant role, could Briere be with the Phantoms?

Currently, Briere runs the day-to-day operations for the Maine Mariners, owned by Comcast Spectacor.

Recently, the Mariners 2021-2022 schedule released a 72-game season. The ECHL is working towards a return to a usual year of hockey. Understandably, Briere will remain the face that runs the place in Maine. But, he would be a great fit alongside Ian Laperriere with the Phantoms.

Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire