Briere helped lead the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010, posting 12 goals and 18 assists in 23 playoff games. He took younger players under his wing, even letting some of them live with him and his three sons. And he became a fan favorite in Philadelphia.
But his time in the City of Brotherly Love ended this offseason when the Flyers used a compliance buyout on the final two seasons of his deal.
On Saturday, Briere gets a chance to face his old team on his own turf.
"[The scheduling] makes it a little bit easier on the preparation, because for me -- because personally -- it’s not a normal game,” Briere said, according to the Montreal Gazette. “You’re facing your ex-teammates. I have a lot of friends there. It’ll be a little tougher, but I really believe that playing it in Montreal makes it a little easier.”
Briere added that it will be weird to play against his friends, but only until the puck drops.
"I'm facing guys I was with for a lot of years," Briere told reporters on a conference call, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "... It's kind of a weird feeling. You're excited to see them, but it's also weird to have to face them. We all know when the puck drops, it gets competitive. And these guys are the same way -- they're not going to give me an inch out there."
The Flyers' Sean Couturier was also placing special attention to Saturday's game against his former teammate, mentor and housemate.
"I was with him almost 24/7, so it should be a special game for both of us," Couturier said, according to the Philadelphia paper. "... Since day one, he kind of took me under his wing and adopted me, and I felt like a big brother for his boys. It was a fun experience, to be sure."
If you were expecting Briere to have hard feelings, guess again.
Briere thinks everything worked out for the best since the Gatineau, Quebec, native now plays for the team he cheered for as a child.
“There’s no extra friction with the Flyers because of it,” he said, according to the Montreal Gazette. “They treated me with a lot of class. It’s reality. It’s part of the game. They were within their rights. On my side, it turned out really well. I get to play for my childhood team. I’m not sure it turns out so great for every player.”