Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer, Taryn Hatcher, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall.
The topic: Should Danny Briere make the Flyers Hall of Fame?
I owe a lot of my knowledge about hockey to Briere and the Flyers era he was a part of. Watching him showcased the type of athletes you hope to have on your team — and luckily, he spent six years of his career here in Philadelphia.
Looking at the names of those currently inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame, you see names that have impacted the team both on and off the ice. Briere was a fan favorite for many reasons — being fearless during games, how he came alive during the playoffs and his community outreach was always above and beyond. The fans and city became a priority.
I think Briere would be a nice addition to the growing list, as he checks off just about everything needed to even be considered. While part of it could be my nostalgia talking — hearing the phrase, “Danny Briere will be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame,” just sounds right. Right?
What makes a Flyers Hall of Famer is someone who played an extensive amount of time in the NHL, had a high peak during their career, was sensational at his position and what I believe most important — added a ton of value to his team.
Briere was most of those things.
Despite a share of injuries throughout his time with the Flyers, Briere still managed to average just under 50 points a season throughout his six years in Philadelphia.
Where he really proved to be elite was when playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Briere had a combined 72 points throughout five postseason runs with the orange and black. Flyers fans will remember the 2010 playoffs for many reasons — Briere was one of them, notching 30 points, the most by any player in the NHL playoffs that year.
On top of his accomplishments on the ice, Briere was also a fan favorite in Philadelphia. He always made time for fans, charity events and community events — and a player with those qualities is a player to value, truly.
I can’t say for sure if Briere will be a Flyers Hall of Famer, but if there was a Hall of Fame for best postseason performers in franchise history, he certainly would be at the top of the list.
Some people like numbers, for those I’ll start here: 53 playoff goals, 63 playoff assists for 116 total postseason points. Briere is one of the highest-level postseason performers of his era. He averaged nearly a point per playoff game, which puts him in the top-100 players all-time in that category.
In terms of who he is, I think Briere has an even stronger argument. No secret, at the start of his career there were serious questions about his size and potential durability in a league that loved the big, the strong and the fast. But, the man put in the work.
Briere bounced around the AHL, NHL and IHL for four seasons before getting his shot at a full calendar year in the NHL. He went from that rocky start to being a guy who — in his own words, “when the game was on the line ... wanted to be the guy who was going to make the play ... wanted to have the puck ... wanted to find a way to make it happen."
And so many times he managed to do exactly that.
I'm a huge Briere fan, but this is a no for me. Parts of six seasons with the Flyers and two 30-plus-goal seasons is impressive no doubt, but I don’t feel like Briere was ever the best player on his team during his Flyers tenure.
Briere’s Flyers career will always be remembered for his playoff performances, but I don’t believe his tenure as a whole is Flyers HOF worthy. He was a very good Flyer, but I believe Hall of Famers need to be great.
Briere has an interesting case.
The most compelling aspect to it is his work in the playoffs, which created a Briere aura for fans and the organization. That stuff goes a long way.
With 37 goals and 35 assists in 68 postseason games for the orange and black, Briere has more playoff points in a Flyers jersey than guys like Tim Kerr, Reggie Leach, Eric Lindros, Rod Brind'Amour, Eric Desjardins and Dave Poulin — all Flyers Hall of Famers.
Briere will get in.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.