DALLAS — Danny Briere’s heading home to his native Quebec. Patrick Elias is staying in New Jersey.
And leave it to the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars to steal the headlines Thursday by completing a blockbuster trade a day before the start of the NHL’s free agency period. In exchanging seven players, the rebuilding Stars acquired forwards Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley in exchange for veteran forward Loui Eriksson.
The trade should be a benefit to the Bruins in their approach to free agency. They were able to clear about $4.75 million in space under the salary cap, which they can use to add and re-sign players.
Otherwise, the list of high-profile free agents continued to shrink even before the official signing period begins at noon today. Briere and Elias became the latest to be taken off a market that’s already minus Vincent Lecavalier, who signed with Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Briere signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens. A person familiar with Briere’s contract revealed the value of the deal, speaking to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the Canadiens did not disclose that figure.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for the French Canadian, who grew up in Gatineau, Quebec, and spent his junior career in Drummondville. Briere, a seven-time 25-goal scorer, became a free agent after the Flyers bought out the two remaining years on his contract.
The Devils re-signed Elias to a three-year, $16.5 million deal, locking up the franchise’s career goals and points leader before he was eligible to test the market. He has spent his entire 15-year career with the Devils, during which he has amassed 375 goals, 555 assists and 930 points in 1,090 career games.
Elias has also led the Devils in points eight times, including this past season when he finished with 36 (14 goals, 22 assists) in 48 games.