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Abel to Yzerman

St. James: Wings Land The Swiss Kid

Interesting start to the day by the Wings.

Helene St. James

The Detroit Red Wings appear to have reeled in Damien Brunner, a sought-after European unrestricted free agent.

Swiss media is reporting Brunner will sign with the Wings. Attempts to reach general manager Ken Holland by the Free Press were not immediately successful. Brunner can reach a deal any time, as he’s not associated with any NHL team at the moment, but he can’t sign until July 1.

Brunner is 26 and a star scorer in the Swiss league. He led the league in scoring with 24 goals and 36 assists in 45 games last season. He had 46 points in 40 games in 20-10-11, and 23 goals among 58 points in ‘09-10.

He’s drawn interest from numerous NHL teams including Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington, Montreal, and Philadelphia, among others.

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Comments

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Paul's avatar

YouTube highlights of Brunner.  The only problem with him, he wears #96.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/22/12 at 10:51 AM ET

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60 pts in 45 games? How easy is the Swiss league?

Posted by Herm from the office on 06/22/12 at 10:54 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

great speed, goes to the net. I see small flashes of Parise in there smile

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 06/22/12 at 11:01 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

The only problem with him, he wears #96.

Probably won’t be a problem for long.  My only question is, did Holland have to promise him a spot on the roster, or is he willing to go to GR?  And if they did promise him, why on Earth would they not be willing to go out on the same limb with Schultz?

Posted by Hootinani on 06/22/12 at 11:03 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Wow.  I’m intrigued.  Leave it to the Wings management to find a gem that nobody has been blabbing about.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/22/12 at 11:03 AM ET

monkey's avatar

What did you say his name was?  Fabian Brunnstrom?  Ville Leino?

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/22/12 at 11:04 AM ET

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Villian Leinstrumm?

Posted by dc on 06/22/12 at 11:08 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

What did you say his name was?  Fabian Brunnstrom?  Ville Leino?

Posted by monkey from lighting my nuts on fire on 06/22/12 at 09:04 AM ET

I’m battling the same thoughts. But hey, if the money is reasonable and it’s short-term, just like those other two guys, then it’s always worth a shot.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/22/12 at 11:08 AM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

I think it signals the departure of our midget pimp.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 06/22/12 at 11:10 AM ET

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I think it signals the departure of our midget pimp.

Why, was Hudler going to re-sign in order to play in Grand Rapids?

Posted by Garth on 06/22/12 at 11:15 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

As good as any draft pick.

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/22/12 at 11:17 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

As good as any draft pick.

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/22/12 at 09:17 AM ET

Good way of looking at it, save for Jurco (19) and Pulkinnen (21), the Wings are thin at RW.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/22/12 at 11:24 AM ET

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Whatever.  What is the point of this?  Where is this going to play?  I thought nill and holland said that the wings need to get bigger in the bottom six yesterday.

The wings should be focusing on acquiring yandle.

Posted by 11B3PF7 in MN on 06/22/12 at 11:26 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think it signals the departure of our midget pimp.

Part of me wont miss Huds.  But I watched a lot fo playoff hockey this spring and I saw so many opportunities squandered for lack of a forward who could see the ice and make a pass.  Hudler at least could do that.  I actually hope he finds a good landing spot.

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/22/12 at 11:29 AM ET

Dynasty_1926's avatar

Appears to be a one year two-way deal according to khan!

Posted by Dynasty_1926 on 06/22/12 at 11:33 AM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

I think it signals the departure of our midget pimp.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 06/22/12 at 09:10 AM ET

Only getting smaller;  Damien Brunner - -  Height 5.10—Weight 176

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 06/22/12 at 11:45 AM ET

The Hurricane's avatar

Right handed shooter….needed.

Posted by The Hurricane on 06/22/12 at 11:56 AM ET

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Pro: Brunner has been above a point per game in his last three NLA seasons and had a career year in 2012, potting 60 points (which lead the league by 9).

Con: It’s the NLA. Former Wings energy forward Stacy Roest (remember him?) just finished a run of five straight seasons in the top ten in league scoring there (2007-2011).

Needless to say, I am skeptical of small forwards who can pile up points in the AHL or overseas, especially if they’re already in their mid-20s or older. The styles of play and/or level of competition present in those leagues allow the small-but-skilled forwards to find success much more easily than in the NHL.

It’s still worth a chance signing on a two-way contract, but I do not expect Brunner to achieve much (if anything) at the NHL level. Too many red flags (only 5’10”, 176; already 26 years old; etc.). I hope I’m wrong though.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 06/22/12 at 12:24 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Per HockeyDB: Height 5.10—Weight 176
Ooofff….

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/22/12 at 12:32 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Welcome to Grand Rapids, Mr. Brunner! 

Western Michigan is lovely this time of year.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/22/12 at 12:38 PM ET

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Is Brunner supposed to make up for Holland losing Parise?!?  Certainly not in my book.  Holland sure as hell better land Suter now.

Posted by Matt from Saginaw on 06/22/12 at 12:40 PM ET

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The guy is a complete NHL unknown.  Like the other dude said, this is essentially draft pick.  The thing I would add is that considering how the Wings handle drft picks, this is like a draft pick made in 2009.

Meaning, he’s more likely to play and play right way than a typical detroit draft pick will ever be, since it’s almost always 3+ years before those guys are seriously considered for the big club.

As far as Hudler coming back goes, that writing has been on the wall for the better part of a year now.  Larsson’s acquisition has 0% impact on that considering there’s maybe a 10% chance he’s on the roster when the season starts.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/22/12 at 12:43 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

What did you say his name was?  Fabian Brunnstrom?  Ville Leino?
Posted by monkey from lighting my nuts on fire on 06/22/12 at 09:04 AM ET

At best, because this isn’t even the Swedish or Finnish Elite league.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 06/22/12 at 12:47 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Man, I don’t care about this kid.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/22/12 at 12:47 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

The kid is going to play in GR, and that’s it.
Now can we all move on?

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 06/22/12 at 12:53 PM ET

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The kid is going to play in GR, and that’s it.
Now can we all move on?

I’d imagine we will as soon as the Wings do something else.  As this is all they’ve done so far, however, it’s pretty much the only ballgame in town at the moment.

I think he has a decent chance to get a cup of coffee in the NHL and perhaps make a Chris Conner-esque splash, but that’s probably about it.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/22/12 at 01:09 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

There’s a lot of whiny bitches in here for a Friday. If the Wings hadn’t signed him some of you would be complaining that Tick Tock was letting yet another one slip through his fingers.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/22/12 at 01:12 PM ET

cementslinger's avatar

There’s a lot of whiny bitches in here for a Friday. If the Wings hadn’t signed him some of you would be complaining that Tick Tock was letting yet another one slip through his fingers.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 06/22/12 at 11:12 AM ET

This

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 06/22/12 at 01:22 PM ET

calquake's avatar

If Kenny signed Jesus Christ some people would still complain he isn’t big enough and can’t score on his backhand.

Posted by calquake on 06/22/12 at 01:24 PM ET

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Larsson’s acquisition has 0% impact on that considering there’s maybe a 10% chance he’s on the roster when the season starts.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/22/12 at 10:43 AM ET

who the hell is “Larsson” ?

Posted by PuckMucker from Detroit on 06/22/12 at 01:26 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I don’t get the negativity about this signing from everyone.  As long as its a 2-way deal, what the hell does it hurt to give him a shot.  Clearly the Swiss league is no NHL, but who the hell knows, he could end up being a decent pick-up.  He could also go down in flames, but either way, this is a no harm, no foul signing.

There wasn’t this much bitching when Holland picked up Quincey, and he cost us a 1st rounder.  Brunner is at least a freeby, and basically what amounts to an extra draft pick.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/22/12 at 01:28 PM ET

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Isn’t the Wing’s Larsson, a goalie anyway ?!?

Posted by Matt from Saginaw on 06/22/12 at 01:29 PM ET

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Is Brunner supposed to make up for Holland losing Parise?!?

When did Holland lose Parise?

Posted by Garth on 06/22/12 at 01:29 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

If Kenny signed Jesus Christ some people would still complain he isn’t big enough and can’t score on his backhand.

That’s just nonsense. Everyone knows Jesus Christ is a goalie.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 06/22/12 at 01:30 PM ET

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If Kenny signed Jesus Christ some people would still complain he isn’t big enough and can’t score on his backhand.

Another aging veteran?

Posted by Garth on 06/22/12 at 01:42 PM ET

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That’s just nonsense. Everyone knows Jesus Christ is a goalie.

Pretty cool playoff beard too

Posted by deezer on 06/22/12 at 01:43 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Don’t bet too heavily on him in GR.  The problem with our call-ups is not the system, their drive, their defense, or hockey sense.  The problem with the youngsters is how well they receive passes, and are their passes easy to handle.

Brunner is 26 and a star scorer in the Swiss league.

At age 26, I expect these skills have been mastered.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 06/22/12 at 01:44 PM ET

11B4PF7 in MN's avatar

The wings already have Jesus Christ on their roster.  Didn’t you see the miracle Pavel Datsyuk performed in giving Todd Bertuzzi his nice+/- last year?

Posted by 11B4PF7 in MN on 06/22/12 at 01:47 PM ET

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Don’t bet too heavily on him in GR.

Well God knows our bottom six is already ridiculously crowded…

Posted by Garth on 06/22/12 at 01:50 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

If Kenny signed Jesus Christ some people would still complain he isn’t big enough and can’t score on his backhand.
That’s just nonsense. Everyone knows Jesus Christ is a goalie.
Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 06/22/12 at 11:30 AM ET

I’d imagine we will as soon as the Wings do something else.  As this is all they’ve done so far, however, it’s pretty much the only ballgame in town at the moment.
Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/22/12 at 11:09 AM ET

When did Holland lose Parise?
Posted by Garth on 06/22/12 at 11:29 AM ET

All true.  It’s the only thing concrete we’ve got to talk about today.  I’m tired of reading “Will they or won’t they” column fillers about Suter and Parise written by people who have no better clue than you or I do, so I skip over a lot.

Unfortunately we don’t know much about this guy either, so we fill the blog while waiting with nervous uncertainty.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 06/22/12 at 01:53 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com