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Avalanche trade Parenteau to Canadiens for Briere

by Arpon Basu

The Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche traded players Monday who might each benefit from a change in scenery.

The Avalanche traded forward PA Parenteau and a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Daniel Briere.

The trade has no effect on the salary cap of either team for the 2014-15 season, with Briere and Parenteau each scheduled to make $4 million. The difference is Parenteau has an extra year on his contract with Briere entering the final season of his.

Briere waived his no-move clause in order for the trade to be completed.

Daniel Briere
Center - COL
GOALS: 13 | ASST: 12 | PTS: 25
SOG: 118 | +/-: 1
"An up and coming team, the chance to play for Patrick Roy, those are all very enticing," he said. "Feeling wanted, when the team wants you and they need you, those are all things I'm looking forward to. Having a no-trade clause doesn't mean you're not going to be traded in my mind, it just means you maybe have a chance to pick or choose a little bit more your destination. When they told me it was Colorado I was right away very excited."

Parenteau and Briere each struggled at times to find his respective niche while playing for a new coach in 2013-14, Patrick Roy in Colorado and Michel Therrien in Montreal.

Briere was initially used at right wing on the top line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty in Montreal, but he was quickly moved off that line and progressively down the lineup until he wound up as Therrien's fourth-line center in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Every coach has his style of player that he likes and those he doesn't," Briere told Montreal newspaper La Presse. "I was part of the group [Therrien] didn't like as much."

The same happened with Parenteau, getting bounced from line to line and even being made a healthy scratch by Roy, and struggling to find his game after coming back from MCL strains in each of his knees at two different occasions of the season.

It was the first time since 2010-11 that Parenteau missed more than two games in a season.

"It's the first time in my career I had to go through coming back from injuries like that," Parenteau said in a conference call Monday. "It was tough to come back from those injuries and tough to get my spot back. So there was some friction, but at the same time he's an excellent coach that made me better over the course of the season. But I'm happy to turn the page and to move on."

Parenteau, 31, had 32 goals and 76 points in 103 games over two seasons in Colorado. He was limited to 55 games last season due to those two knee injuries and had 14 goals and 33 points. Neither of the injuries required surgery and Parenteau insists he was 100 percent healthy in the playoffs, when he had one goal and three points in seven games.

If there was friction with Roy, Parenteau knows he is heading to a team with a coach that is just as demanding in Therrien.

"I know he's an intense coach, so I'm going to try to bring as much intensity as I can," Parenteau said.

A ninth-round pick (No. 264) of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2001 NHL Draft, Parenteau has 73 goals and 205 points in 291 regular-season games for the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Avalanche.

Parenteau was a strong possession player with the Avalanche, with his team attempting 3.5 percent more shots with him on the ice than when he wasn't.

Briere, 36, had 13 goals and 25 points in 69 regular-season games, and three goals and seven points in 16 playoff games in his only season with the Canadiens.

Briere was the 24th pick in the 1996 draft by the Phoenix Coyotes and has career totals of 299 goals and 684 points in 916 regular-season games for the Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Canadiens. Briere also has averaged nearly a point per game in the playoffs, with 53 goals and 116 points in 124 games.

"If I was to evaluate my season, I think the first half of the season wasn't as good probably as it should have been and because of it I lost some responsibility and my role declined on the team," Briere said. "I thought the second half was much better, playoffs were really good. What I'm looking forward to next year is to come in with the way I played in the second half, especially in the playoffs. My goal is to come in and play the same way that I ended it in the playoffs." 

Like Briere last summer, when he signed as a free agent with the Canadiens after having his contract bought out by the Flyers, Parenteau is eager to come play for Montreal despite the additional pressure placed on Francophone players in a Francophone market.

Parenteau was born in Gatineau, Quebec, just outside Ottawa and ironically enough Briere's hometown, but he was raised in Boucherville, a suburb of Montreal.

Parenteau will be getting married July 12 and said he will be moving to Montreal immediately after that in order to begin his offseason workouts.

"It's like I don't realize the extent of what's happening right now. My telephone went crazy for a little while there," Parenteau said. "I'm excited. It's a childhood dream. There are a lot of things you need to deal with as a Francophone, but I think I have the personality to deal with that and have success." correspondent Rick Sadowski contributed to this story.

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