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08 September 2007

Briere...Montreal...Philly...media circus BS...argh!


In a recent article published by Montreal's "La Presse", new Flyers 10-million gem Daniel Briere publicly spoke out, saying he doesn't "understand some (hoho, I think you mean many) Habs fans are mad at him.

Let's just think for a second, why on earth would the greatest fans in the world of the the greatest sport in the world be upset at Monsieur Briere?

If he hasn't figured it out, then the Flyers better hope the $52 million man is more than what his words seem...utterly ridiculous.

We're UPSET Daniel because, and I speak for all Habs fans, you disappointed us....YOU chose an American-based (and really no offence meant here) team in Philadelphia, coming off a horrific season just to be with your buddy Martin Biron when instead Habs fans would have welcomed you with open arms to arguably the best hockey city in North American...YOUR hometown.

So tell me, Daniel, what's more important?

That you get a front loaded contract from the Flyers that will pay you a whopping and certainly insane $10 million for the first few seasons and $52 million overall or that you come to a city that's dying for talent...and more importantly in the majority of fans' eyes, a FRENCH-CANADIAN talent for the exact same amount?

I think the choice wasn't all that difficult, and for the very reason I will rant about below:

I'm sick AND tired of this freaking BS involving Montreal media, why can't they just zip their mouths up when it's needed and not go around busting players the chance they get or pouncing on their captain, question his leadership ability because he can't utter a word of French...pathetic.

So in a way, Daniel Briere chose money in a city where hockey isn't even as remotely popular as in dear Montreal just to avoid facing a few questions from morons who should be banned from anything that's related to interviewing (see Alex Kovalev, like come on, you'd think the guy would be more motivated to play if you weren't always on his case?), writing (practically all of RDS's crew demanding that Koivu be traded, that Huet be traded and that Latendresse plays on the first line instead of Higgins after the Habs' 6-5 loss to Toronto on the final day of the season) or making up ceremonial nonsense (like our amis over at 110% did the other day, claiming Saku Koivu has asked to be traded).

I know, I know...maybe I should pull out my violin instead of wasting my breath (or fingers) saying what's already commonly been said only in a more polite manner.

Ok, I won't totally kill the media for Briere not signing here, but here's something else worth noting..if, for all the money and hype he received, he's not at least partially intelligent enough to understand why we are upset at him in more ways than one and why he's so baffled by all the hatrid he's received, then I'm happy he didn't sign here after all; I wasn't a big Briere fan in the first place, and this certainly doesn't help.

But, why oh why, Daniel, did you have to drag this out...AGAIN, I mean, most of us have gotten over losing out on you and settling for Roman Hamrlik and Bryan Smolinksi instead, but come on, was it really worth increasing your future "booooo" burden at the Bell Centre AND show the hockey world that you aren't very bright?

Or maybe it's that there hasn't been much (or anything) for us bloggers to feast on...so, thanks, for looking out for us, I guess.

He also says he "wants to win"...I won't even comment on this, mainly because all you need to know (Timmonen, Hartnell, Briere or not), the Flyers were at the BOTTOM of the Eastern Conference last year.
I think what he meant is "I'm a big baby and I want to play on the first line because I've only had one season of more than 80 points"

Before you go blasting me because I'm a "stupid French Canadian baby", I'm not, I'm not in the least French Canadian so don't use that pathetically overused excuse to prove me wrong, but by all means, prove me wrong...feedback is really appreciated, even during rants and tough times like these!

-BBeR

11 fanatics have replied:

Topham said...

Nice rant. Personally I never felt Briere or his people were behind the story (and they have denied it since), but true or not, it was never going to be a useful story to publish.

I say, let's not be angry at Briere. Let's be thankful he decided to take his millstone of a contract and attach it firmly to the neck of a franchise that we might have to compete with for a playoff spot (in years 5-7 of his deal...).

In addition, we both got a rant out of it the story mine's on lionsinwinter.blogspot.com), so we should be happy for that.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. Halfway through the season with Briere having racked up 10 goals and 13 assists the faithful Montreal crowd with the help of the Montreal press corps would have started the process of running him out of town. Good for you Daniel!

JD FLYGUY said...

I'm guessing that people who see my name aren't surprised that I'm writing a response to this.

As a Philadelphia native, and prolific hockey nut, I feel it is my civic duty to defend my town. I will be the first one to tell anyone that the season we had last year was one that should not be taken lightly. But if you look at our team last year, and compare it to the years prior, it is easy to see where we went wrong. Our rosters were not that much different from 05-06 to 06-07, save a few veterans who were sorely missed more often than not. The Flyers had an OFF YEAR last season. One thing people seem to forget is that the Pens were at the bottom of the Eastern Conference the year before, yet rose significantly this past season.

Point being, I'd prefer (and I'm sure the hockey world agrees with me) to leave last season behind as a brief nightmare and move on to better things. We were working with a goalie who's back was being injected with pain killers at different points in the season. Not to mention all of our other injuries (ahem...Foppa anyone?). I'm not a fan of making excuses, but come on.

Philadelphia isn't in Canada, but it is arguably one of the best hockey cities in the States. Does anyone remember the Hockey News calling us the best hockey city of 05-06? I sure do.

I feel for the Habs fans who didn't get a big name FA, I honestly do. It's a shame that fans of that caliber got shafted by the management. I've always liked Montreal as a team, because I feel it is the epitome of a hockey town. Hopefully the trade deadline will treat you with more fairness.

I think everyone understands that I had to defend my own. It was a good rant either way though!

The Dark Ranger said...

Listen, if I might second this last blog -- and mind you, I am NOT a Philly fan on any level -- the Flyers are a force to be reckoned with.

This rebuilding effort in the off-season has been huge -- a new team in fact, and whether or not Briere plays the game of Broad Street well (he doesn't) and adapts to their level of play, he is part of an important franchise in modern hockey.

This argh! posting was fun but it had elements of cry-baby in it. Sorry. I'll keep reading though.

tdr

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

topham- Thanks, I guess you can look at it that way, he got a ton of money and I wonder if he'll pan out for them.
I'll definitely check your post out!

anon- You're probably right, that's how they are.

JD Flyguy- Oh by all means, defend your town, I didn't really mean to say anything too nasty about them.
I forgot to acknowledge that the Flyers ARE one of the best hockey cities in the NHL but all in all, when I said that hockey wasn't as remotely popular in Philly as in Montreal, I kind of meant it.
You guys have more than one sport to interest yourselves in, we've got only hockey all year long, and for only part of the season minor soccer and CFL...you guys have the luxury of going to baseball games as well (God, I miss my Expos) whereas Montrealers only look forward to hockey season after a short and usually bitersweet summer of CFL and Impact soccer.
So maybe my point is that Philadelphia, overall, is a terrific SPORTS city, much better than Montreal (Flyers, Phillies, Eagles, college football, etc.) but when it comes to hockey, Montreal takes the cake. :)

And about your rosters, you're right, you've improved...but I was only going on the general consencus of players who probably look at how the team did last season before taking a good look at the money.
You'd think Columbus would have more success attracting big-name free-agents if they won a bit more?
Of course...but we're not in Columbus, we're in Philadelphia, and I think Briere's choice was more based on the fact that Philadelphia COULD be a comparable hockey city to Montreal without the media burderning him and where there is evidently less pressure...I'd understand that choice, only if Montreal weren't his hometown.

I hope the Flyers do better (and I certainly know they will) as, like you said, people will agree that last year was an off-year and you'll get back to the Eastern powerhouse many people will be afraid of.

Phew, and thanks, comning from you, that means a lot...glad you enjoyed my hugely biased rant. ;)

TDR- Yeah, it probably does...but for people outside of Montreal, who get to contend with their stars (like you for example, wow, Drury AND Gomez AND Jagr) don't really know how it feels (even though I also appreciate the sympathy given to Habs fans) deep down inside to start the year without anybody you can be certain can carry your team to victory...a star player.
So maybe that's why my rant seemed a little cry-baby, if anything, it was a desperate plea that most of us Habanatics want an answer to.

Thanks for the opinion!

-BBeR

ubiquiste said...

Wow, such a great rant BBeR. I'm sick of hearing and reading that Brière made the right career move, that Philly is a great sport city, because that is SO not the question here... The fact is Brière chose the easy way. Ok, it probably was the best move career-wise, but as a Habs fan, it's just another local talent who decided not to face the challenge here, in Montréal. Mtl is the worst place in the NHL when you lose, but the best when you win. Players seem to focus only on the first part, so they very rarely choose Mtl. And it's a shame because if Brière had come here, and played his best EVERY night, he would've become a hero. Say what you will about Habs fans, but they always respect hard-working players. Just look at Steve Bégin.
All this just makes me think that in the end, it's probably a good thing that Brière didn't sign with the Canadiens. Here's a player who, when faced with the decision to play for the most demanding crowd in the NHL or in relative anonymity (I mean that in the most respectful way for Flyers fans), chose the latter. All the other considerations are BS for Habs fans. And with the team's struggles over the last ten years, I really don't think that a player like Brière would've been the answer. We need a real player (un vrai de vrai) who sincerely wants to play in Mtl and who's not gonna be affraid of the pressure. That's the kind of player we need.
So, I wish the best of luck to Brière (who looks like a great person) in Philly, but i'm still going to boo him every time he comes to Montréal. And at this point, I don't care what impact it has on other potential free agents. The great thing about Habs fans is their passion for the game. If that scares some players, it's because they don't deserve to play for the CH.

P.S. I am french-canadian (you've probably already noticed with the poor quality of my english...) and I feel that there is much misunderstanding about the way we see things hockey-wise. And I mean especially with Saku. The guy is great, the player and the person. But what anglophones don't seem to realise i that he is the captain of the only french based team in the NHL. And you all know that the Canadiens here, are not JUST a hockey team. So don't you feel that the representative for this holy institution should be able to speak to his fans and ultimately to the people who pay him, in their language. What would you say if Mats Sundin didn't speak a word of english? Quebec is not bilingual, people need to understand that... 80% of the population is french. I think it's a legitimate issue, and I don't feel like a cry-baby. I've noticed how BBeR makes a genuine effort to show both sides when dealing with questions like these, and I appreciate it, but on this issue, I think you're wrong. And I'm still waiting for someone to explain to me why it's pathetic to ask that the captain of the most beloved institution in Québec, speak to us in français...

ubiquiste said...

One last thing. It's the first time I write on this blog, which is truly great by the way. But, what the hell!!! Do you feel that using the excuse that you're a whinny french-canadian would be a valid one if not for it's overuse : "I'm not, I'm not in the least French Canadian so don't use that pathetically overused excuse to prove me wrong".
All right, I'll admit that some Mtl media are always exagerating everything that relates to the Habs. But They're the ones you'll always hear, because they scream the loudest. There are many good rational french journalists who will give you an intelligent perspective on the Habs. You just don't see them because you just can't *!"%?&! read them (and I'm not talking to BBeR here). So stop the french bashing, it's ridiculous.
As for the Brière story in La Presse, their sources are VERY reliable, and you can just see that the organization's response is designed to diffuse an otherwise embarrassing situation. It's not La Presse's fault. Of course they will deny it. Come on. The pathetic thing is they're doing so by attacking the credibility of a good journalist. You know what the funny thing is. The Canadiens did it through the "venerable" Red Fisher, who's almost an employee of the Habs. Don't get me wrong, he was a great journalist, but in this story, he's a joke. Talk about credibility...

Lil Cindy Lou said...

Wow! Great rant, BBeR!!! :D

Maybe the Habs didn't get what they wanted this summer, but I think they still have enough talent to prove to the world that they can do just fine without Briere. ;)

LCL

The Dark Ranger said...

No one has said it so The Dark Ranger will. Briere is completely overrated! So there.

He doesn't fit into the Philly type of system. One good hit and he's singing 'Oh, Danny Boy Goodnight'. He is finesse and not physical and when he plays any Atlantic Division team the way these teams hate (I mean, physical violent hatred) each other -- it is likely the Philly rivals (like my sweet little Blueshirts) will send that message to Philly's overpriced superstar. The Devils will want to diffuse any level of star player in the Flyer's team this season.

The Atlantic will be fun to watch. Tune in....

tdr

The Dark Ranger said...

Habs, don't feel cheated by the local Canadian kid. It didn't work for Ryan Smyth, now did it?

My prediction -- Briere two years in Philly and trades to Toronto.

Fred said...

Briere decided to pass on the opportunity to become a forever Legend to be off the radar in Philly. Of course, playing 7 years in MTL would be harder media-wise, but if he fulfills his contract (play at high standard for all these years), he would be big in the community for the rest of his days. Maybe not as big as Lafleur or Beliveau of course, but not far behind. He would have been the superstar in MTL for almost a decade and if he would have brought a cup here, then he would have benefited of this more than he ever will in Philly. But he chose the easy way...

About your rant of French media wanting Koivu out because he doesn't speak French, I don't think that's the point. (Maybe Jean Pagé and some other 100% guys think so, but they're stupid for the most part.)I think most of us would like him out because he can't lead this team. Oh, he's a great captain when it's time to smile for pictures and very popular with children, but he disappears when bad times arise. I like Saku, but not as the first line center, and certainly not as the captain.

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