The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/22/12 at 02:17 PM ET
Updated 2x at 12:27 PM, and yes, Bill covered this—sorry about being slow on the uptake: As noted this morning, 26-year-old free agent Damien Brunner told Blick.ch that he may sign with the Wings, and MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that that may just happen:
The Detroit Red Wings appear to have landed talented Swiss forward Damien Brunner. But they won’t know for sure until July 1, when he can sign with any NHL team. Brunner, a highly sought undrafted free agent, told Swiss media that he has agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the Red Wings.
Brunner, 26, isn’t big (5-11, 180), but he’s a fast-skating, highly skilled winger who shoots right-handed. He led the Swiss-A league in scoring with 24 goals and 60 points in 45 games for Zug. He’s a Jiri Hudler-type of player, except with speed.
Brunner has one year remaining on his contract with the Swiss club but told media that he has an out clause. As many as a half-dozen NHL teams, including Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, were interested in the undrafted forward.
The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness confirms the news...
According to media reports out of Switzerland, Damien Brunner, 26, has agreed to a one-year, two-way with Detroit.
The Wings won’t know for sure until July 1, the day free agency opens, when he can with any NHL team.
Brunner, who still has one year left on his contract with Zug in the Swiss-A league but has an out clause, has about a half-dozen NHL teams interested in him including Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh.
“We are having ongoing discussions,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
Brunner, who shoots right, led the league with 24 goals and 36 assists in 45 games last season.
His game is compared to unrestricted free agent Jiri Hudler, but without the speed.
As does the Free Press’s Helene St. James, via Twitter...
Regarding Swiss star Damien Brunner, he has told #RedWings he wants to come to Detroit, but he’s got contract w Swiss team for ‘12-13 (1/2)
(2/2) Brunner apparently has out clause. Lots of paperwork ahead after July 1. Would be 1-yr, 2-way entry level deal. Little risk for Wings
Brunner, 26, is small European, but he can skate like the wind and has a wicked shot. Very skilled. Coveted by many NHL teams
And in an article as well:
he 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, though he cannot officially do so until July 1. General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press the Wings have interest in Brunner, but “he’s under contract for ’12-‘13, so we’ll see where it goes.”
Brunner may have an out negotiated with his Swiss team. However, there is no transfer agreement in place between the Swiss league and the NHL, so, basically, there’s a lot of paperwork ahead for the Wings, provided Brunner does not change his mind.
The Wings like Brunner and were one of many NHL teams – including Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington, Montreal and Philadelphia – who wooed him.
“Mike Babcock and I saw him play at the World Champions, and we liked what we saw,” Holland said. “He’s very talented.”
There’s little risk involved for the Wings if they sign Brunner, as he’d be under a one-year, two-way entry-level contract.
Update: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan also confirms…
he task of finding under-the-radar talent this weekend apparently has begun for the Red Wings.
The Wings apparently have agreed to terms with Swiss forward Damien Brunner, an undrafted free agent who impressed during the World Championships last month.
Brunner can’t sign with any team until July 1. Reports out of Switzerland say Brunner told media there he has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Wings — meaning he can be sent to Grand Rapids.
Brunner told media he has an out-clause with his current team, Zug, in the Swiss-A league.
Wings general manager Ken Holland said talks are continuing with Brunner.
As does DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose:
Just receiving word that the #RedWings have agreed to a deal with Damien Brunner, but can’t sign the Swiss star before July 1.
Landet Brunner in Detroit?
Für den EV Zug verbuchte er in der letzten Saison 60 Skorerpunkte. Nun zieht es Damien Brunner in die NHL.
Aus den USA ist zu vernehmen, dass Damien Brunner (26) sich für die Detroit Red Wings entschieden habe.
Zugs NLA-Topskorer zu BLICK: «Es sind noch drei Teams im Rennen.» Erst ab 1. Juli dürfen NHL-Teams offiziell Verpflichtungen vornehmen. (D. K./A. R.)
So he said “There are three teams in the running,” but this is a case of the cat chasing its tail as Blick says the report comes out of the States!
Low risk, high reward. Good deal if it comes to pass.
Update #3: Here’s a highlight video from Aviksaroy on Twitter, and the Swiss League is underrated in terms of its level of competition:
Is he NHL-ready? Probably not, but he’s a good depth player to have in your back pocket, especially given that he’s fleet-footed and knows how to score.
Oh, and the title? Mediocre German for, “Is Damien Brunner a Red Wing? It’s probably likely that he’ll become a Wing.”
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