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Former Sabre Daniel Briere announces retirement

Briere was a big part of the 2005-06 Sabres team that helped revitalize hockey in Buffalo.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Today Daniel Briere announced his retirement from the NHL. At age 37, with 17 NHL season under his belt, and after having scored just 12 points in 57 games last season with the Avalanche, it was certainly time for Briere to leave the game.

But even though he's leaving hockey, one place where Briere will always have special significance is in the hearts of Buffalo Sabres fans who lived through the 2004 lockout.

Briere was a big part of the 2005-06 and 2006-07 Sabres teams that exploded on to the scene after the lockout and helped to revitalize an excitement and passion for hockey in Western New York. And while his tenure here ended with ugly mismanagement and hurt feelings, he'll always have a special place in Buffalo as a member of the Cardiac Kids that helped us all learn to love hockey again.

The 5'9'' Briere scored 230 points in 225 games over four season in blue and gold, including 95 points during the 2006-07 President's Cup year. He also scored 34 points in 34 playoff games during those two magical seasons, and scored some of the team's most memorable overtime playoff goals, like this one against the Flyers in 2007:

Or this one to force a Game 7 in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals:

Thanks for the memories, Danny. Give us your favorite Briere moment in the comment, and let's take a moment to remember the last great Sabres team, before the next great one develops right in front of us.

Here is Briere's farewell column from Ottawa newspaper Le Droit, translated from French to English:

I played my last game in the National Hockey League. The time has come for me to announce my retirement.

It's really not a decision that is taken lightly. I thought about it for several weeks. In fact, the idea began to germinate in my mind last winter, when I was in Colorado. I was away from my children, who remained in Philadelphia. It really was not an easy situation for me.

This summer, I spent more time with them, the less I saw myself leaving the house again and leave the machine for another season.

If I took my time before making my decision is that I wanted to make sure I do not deceive me.

I was well aware of the situation in which I found myself. With the season that we experienced last year, with my ice time has been limited in training who missed the series ... I realize that it was not easy for me to me find another job in the NHL.

It did not affect my decision.

I am terminating my playing career to get more involved in the lives of my three boys. They arrive at a crucial age when they need a father at home.

Caelan 17 years old. He began his senior year in high school. Carson will celebrate 16 years next month. Cameron is 14 years old. For him, the secondary begins.

I want to be more present to help them in their studies. I want to show them the right path. Sometimes when parental supervision is not optimal, human nature pushes young people to seek easier paths. To cheat. It is important that I come home to this.

I also want to get more involved in their sport. They will play every three hockey this season.

By being more present, I can show them simple things. I can for example inculcate good eating habits and good training methods. These are things that will accompany them to the end of their days.

These are things that my parents made for me.

This column is suggested to use me to thank people. It is precisely my parents, Robert and Constance, who come to mind first.

The parents of young athletes invest considerable time and money to allow their children to live their dreams. Guylaine with my sister, mine have imposed many sacrifices during my youth. I say a big, big thank you.

As for the others ... Let's say I could blacken the pages of several newspapers if I started naming all the people who helped me, who supported me all these years. I am afraid of forgetting. I am convinced that the people I would like to thank today will be able to recognize themselves.

•••

Even if I think about retirement for some time, I have not really taken the time to take stock of my career. Looks like I'm not there yet.

In the past 18 years, the good times have been numerous. I made many friends and I experienced many things I will never forget. It is true that my ultimate goal has not been reached. I have still not won the Stanley Cup. When I look quickly, I tell myself that I can be proud of what has been accomplished so far.

It is perhaps not over. Although my focus in the coming months will be not too far away from home, I could still find a little time to get involved with the Flyers here in Philadelphia. I've always been treated well within this organization and I would be proud to maintain a role.

Nothing is set, nothing is official. I have not accepted a full-time position with them. I've always been a fan of hockey. I always loved the game . It will not change.

Otherwise, I can not wait to spend some more time with Misha, my partner the last four years.

I shall not be sorry to prolong a bit my golf season. In the past, I had more or less put my sticks towards the end of July, when I had to start training more intensively on ice.

I will give my formal decision tomorrow in a press conference in Philadelphia. After, I will take a few days holiday in the Outaouais.

I'll see Guylaine, Rock spouse, their children and Zaac Deven. I have time for my close friends of the Outaouais, who supported me so much in the most difficult moments in the happy moments.

I have already committed to taking part in the golf tournament Branchaud-Brière Thursday at Le Sorcier. I will also be in the March Rose Health Foundation Gatineau Saturday.

I can not wait to see you.