Is this the day for Danny B?
Sources have told ESPN.com that bought-out unrestricted free agent Danny Briere cut his list of suitors to three teams late Wednesday night, which I believe to be New Jersey, Montreal and Nashville.
All three have compelling selling points for the veteran forward. The Canadiens provide an obvious allure for a French-Canadian such as Briere. If he does sign with the Habs, it would turn those boos at the Bell Centre into cheers after he spurned Montreal’s offer years ago for Philadelphia’s and Habs fans never forgave him.
Nashville is a terrific place to live. I’m stunned more free agents don’t go there. It would be top five on my list of places for a player to ply his trade. Fantastic town, solid organization and, oh yeah, the Preds desperately need offense.
The Devils also need offense, and New Jersey would offer the one thing Montreal and Nashville could not: proximity to Briere’s children, who will remain in Philadelphia.
And so we shall see. Whichever team gets him acquires a clutch performer, especially come playoff time. And he’s a great teammate.
• My money is on UFA center Tyler Bozak staying in Toronto, but until the Maple Leafs meet that magic number, other teams have called, including Dallas, Detroit, Anaheim, St. Louis and Calgary. Bozak, who found great chemistry with Phil Kessel last season, is looking for a five-year deal or more. In the Red Wings’ case, I think Bozak is more of a Plan B if they can’t get UFA center Stephen Weiss. I think the Stars are very interested in Bozak, and Weiss for that matter.
• Don’t expect a final decision from UFA blueliner Rob Scuderi until Friday. Sources say Scuderi got a real nice offer from the Kings on Tuesday night, but the veteran player wanted to see what was out there on the market with the 48-hour window for talking to other teams opening Wednesday. He has done that, hearing from several East Coast teams. Basically, if Scuderi does leave the Kings, he’s going to the East. It would not surprise me if Pittsburgh was among the teams that called about Scuderi. The Pens know him well from his previous playing days in Pittsburgh.
• The Wings have kicked tires all over the place, I hear, getting a sense of the marketplace. They’ve checked in on Weiss and Bozak plus Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Daniel Alfredsson et al, all the while keeping tabs on their own free agents Dan Cleary, Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula. It could go all kinds of different ways in Detroit on Friday when the market opens.
• UFA power forward Ryane Clowe's preference is to stay on the East Coast, and I think he’s zeroed in on some options; the Devils are among several teams with serious interest. Expect him to sign Friday, the first day of the market opening.
• Bought-out UFA Mike Komisarek is going to be a bargain-basement addition and is generating sizable attention because of that cheap price tag.
• TSN colleague Darren Dreger is hearing there is action on Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery. The Flyers, Isles and Oilers are believed to be chasing. The Hawks are also in discussions to re-sign Emery, Dreger is hearing.