Daniel Briere was selected 24th overall in the 1996 NHL Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes and is entering his first season with the Avalanche. Briere made his professional debut in the 1997-98 season, playing in five games with the Coyotes. Over the course of his career, he has played in 916 regular-season NHL games and has tallied 684 career points (299 goals and 385 assists). Briere is known for being a clutch performer in the playoffs where he has recorded 116 points (53 goals and 63 assists) in 124 career postseason contests. He has also played for Buffalo and Philadelphia, but he arrived in Colorado via an offseason trade with the Montreal Canadiens this past summer.
Are you looking forward to being back in the Western Conference after more than 10 years of being in the East?
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s been a while. I know the Western (Conference) has a lot of good hockey teams, especially this division. I’m looking forward to it, to see also what kind of game is being played. Everybody says it’s a faster game in the West so I’m looking forward to that also."
You had to waive your no-trade clause to come to Colorado this summer, how excited are you to be a part of the next step here in Colorado?
“There wasn’t any second thoughts on that. Seeing, first of all, what the team did last year, the coaching staff and all the positive vibes coming out of this team. I was very excited when I heard that they were trying to trade for me.”
Since coming to Denver in the trade, have you had any time to get acclimated to the city? If so, what are your thoughts?
“It’s been about two weeks now. I haven’t had the chance to explore too much. The focus mostly has been on hockey. Everybody tells me it’s one of the best cities in the U.S., and I’m looking forward to exploring it and see what’s around, definitely.”
What is your favorite pregame meal?
“Pretty much like everyone else, chicken and some pasta. Nothing special, but it gets the job done.”
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
“I wouldn’t really call it superstitions, I don’t go crazy if it doesn’t go exactly according to plan. I try to follow the schedule as much as possible. It’s part of your preparation, we all have one.”
When you were growing up, was there one player you tried to model your game after?
“A few guys, but there are three that stick out for me growing up. Obviously, Wayne Gretzky for everything he did for hockey. Pat LaFontaine, I just loved the way he played, and Mats Naslund. I was a Montreal Canadiens fan so Mats Naslund was also one of my favorites.”
You wore No. 54 and No. 8 coming up with the Coyotes and made the transition to No. 48 after being traded to Buffalo. What was the reason for you wearing No. 48?
“Minor hockey and juniors I had 14, and when I was traded to Buffalo I asked them for 14 and it was retired. I asked for eight and someone was wearing it, so I asked them if I could combine the four of 14 and the eight and make it 48. The good thing is the last couple of years, moving around to different teams, it’s not a number that a lot of people wear so usually I can keep my number.”
If you were not playing hockey for a career, what would you be doing?
“I like finance. I like working with numbers. Maybe something in that regard, but I also realize that I’m living my dream right now so I’m trying to live every single minute of it.”