DANIEL BRIERE

When he signed an eight-year, $52 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2007, Daniel Briere established himself as one of the top-paid players in the NHL. He earned the deal as a result of his ability to score thirty goals a season (not to mention his status as an unrestricted free agent), but injuries have played a part in a lack of consistency since then.

Briere has won a gold medal for Canada at the U18 Championship (1994), World Junior Championship (1997), and World Championship (2003 and 2004). Having a good relationship with his sticks is essential to his success, and Briere has two particular superstitions in this regard.

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First, he likes to talk to his sticks before a game, just to make sure they know what they’re supposed to do and what he expects of them. Second, he always prepares three sticks for every game. Whenever he plays well with one, though, he doesn’t keep using it, as would most players. Instead, he gives it a game off or a day off to allow it to rest, just as a coach might a player or a team after an excellent game.

Other players would work the stick like a horse, whipping every ounce of strength out of it before throwing it away. But not Briere. More compassionate, he’d prefer to extend the life of the stick by using it judiciously and with paternal care instead.

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