PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers are buying out the final two years of forward Danny Briere's contract.
General manager Paul Holmgren confirmed the move in a statement Thursday. Briere will become an unrestricted free agent as part of the Flyers' offseason shake-up of their high-priced roster.
The move will shave $6.5 million off their salary cap. Philadelphia had one of the NHL's most expensive payrolls last season and must shed salary to get under next season's cap.
''This is my home,'' Briere said of South Jersey. ''Wherever I'm going to end up, the kids are staying here and I'm coming back here. This is what we consider home now.''
Briere has three boys ages 12, 13 and 14. He hopes to sign with a team nearby and isn't planning to uproot his kids from their schools.
''They're at an age where it's getting tougher to move them around and that's why this is going to stay home for me and them,'' Briere said. ''Not just with me, but they see players come and go and players have to move. We've had to do it ourselves a few times. It's never an easy situation but I think they're prepared for it.''
The Flyers had one of the NHL's most expensive payrolls last season and must shed salary to get under next season's cap. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is another candidate to have his contract bought out.
Under NHL rules, teams have the option of two amnesty buyouts to terminate contracts before the start of the 2014-15 season.
Briere is a 15-year NHL veteran, who had six goals and 10 assists in 34 games last season. He's a seven-time 25-goal scorer, but his production has tailed off as a result of various injuries.