Wearing a white Flyers polo shirt, Danny Briere sat down in entrance of a black Flyers backdrop.
The emblem he stated he loves was featured prominently.
This was not a straightforward spot.
It was somewhat after 8:30 a.m. ET on a Sunday. With daylight saving time, it was primarily 7:30 a.m. ET. His boss had simply been fired two days in the past and his workforce had simply performed in Pittsburgh the day prior. He’s hoping to earn the Flyers’ normal supervisor job, however has it solely within the interim for now. And questions have been coming his means concerning the scrutinized and precarious state of the Flyers.
But Briere could not chorus from smiling.
“My cellphone hasn’t stopped buzzing for greater than about three seconds,” Briere stated in a Zoom press convention. “It was somewhat little bit of survival mode the final couple of days.”
He has needed a chance to be a GM. He’s getting his shot.
“I’m not going to lie, it is one thing that I noticed myself do from early on once I was enjoying,” Briere stated. “I all the time believed that I may very well be on this place sooner or later. It’s why it is so particular and so thrilling for me.”
The 45-year-old Briere, a beloved former Flyer and clutch playoff performer, was named the membership’s interim GM Friday. With somewhat over a month left within the 2022-23 season, he is taking on for Chuck Fletcher, who was fired as president of hockey operations and GM.
Briere had been extremely concerned with the Flyers in varied methods for a number of years earlier than formally approaching board over a 12 months in the past as a particular assistant to the GM. He thanked Fletcher on Sunday, calling the previous GM a “true gentleman” and “one of many nicest individuals within the hockey world.”
The Flyers are within the technique of looking for individuals to fill two separate positions: president of hockey ops and GM. It can be shocking if Briere is not the clear-cut front-runner for the GM position whereas the Flyers look to discover a president to supervise him.
“I see myself staying right here and being a part of the long run,” Briere stated. “I hope they imagine in me, as effectively. It feels that means. I truthfully haven’t got an issue with the [interim] tag. We’ll see what occurs subsequent. I’m honored to be right here and to be on this place. I need to do all the pieces attainable to assist put this franchise heading in the right direction at this level.”
Briere’s identify has been rising in hockey circles. He already is aware of the group, is aware of what’s missing, is aware of what to search for in gamers and has an excellent rapport with the top coach. In late November, John Tortorella praised Briere for his “good thoughts.”
The Flyers are going to overlook the playoffs in three consecutive years for the primary time since 1989-90 to 1993-94, after they went 5 straight seasons and not using a postseason berth.
Tortorella hasn’t shied away from being absolutely forthright concerning the workforce’s timeline towards contending. Despite it probably not which means a lot, Fletcher by no means fairly used the phrase rebuild when discussing the Flyers’ outlook. Tortorella does not actually look after it, both.
Briere agreed with Fletcher, that the Flyers do not should be fully gutted. But he is effectively conscious the method will take time.
“I need to guarantee that rebuild does not imply hearth sale,” Briere stated. “There’s a giant distinction between the 2. I need to make that clear — we’re not going to eliminate all people. We have some good gamers right here, some gamers which can be in sure roles that we will maintain, as effectively.
“We’re going to take a look at each attainable choice on the market to enhance the workforce. I do not assume it is a fast repair. That’s my perception and that is why I’m not afraid to make use of the phrase rebuild, so long as you all perceive these little asterisks — that it is not a hearth sale. It does not imply hearth sale for me.”
Briere has by no means been a GM or assistant GM, however he has expertise with the Flyers on each the enterprise and hockey ops sides. He was additionally president and governor of the ECHL’s Maine Mariners. And his lengthy enjoying profession will not damage.
He does not query his credentials.
“There’s little doubt in my thoughts that I can do the job,” Briere stated. “I’m going to have some nice individuals round me, as effectively. It’s not one thing that I’m going to do alone. I used to be by no means a participant that labored alone. I all the time believed in workforce first, workforce mentality first, and it’ll be the identical strategy on this aspect. I really like working with individuals and it’ll be the identical means shifting ahead now.
“Even once I performed as a participant, I used to be all the time somebody that studied my opponents, additionally studied my GMs and what they have been doing, what different GMs have been doing.
“Maybe I used to be employed formally beneath Chuck previously 12 months, however my journey has began a protracted, very long time in the past.”
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