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Ist Damien Brunner ein Red Wing?  Es ist gut möglich, dass er ein Wing wird

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.

Update #2: The press is quoting an article from Sportalsports.com, but the news comes from Blick:

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.”

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



Is he waver eligible if the Wings want to send him down to GR?

Posted by RyanVM from Philly on 06/22/12 at 01:48 PM ET


You had me until “Jiri Hudler-type” then I stopped reading or caring….


Posted by puckinthehead from thunder bay on 06/22/12 at 01:49 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

He wouldn’t have to clear waivers as far as I know…And he skates much better than Hudler does.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/12 at 01:56 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar


Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/22/12 at 02:08 PM ET

red_wings_49's avatar

Hudler has speed?

Posted by red_wings_49 from Mad Heights, MI on 06/22/12 at 02:10 PM ET

yzemaze's avatar

“werden” in the header should be “wird” - the rest sounds a bit funny or pretentious, but is correct.

Posted by yzemaze from somewhere in f***ing Bavaria, Germany on 06/22/12 at 03:11 PM ET

Soupsnake's avatar

Hudler has speed?

The article should say that he is like Hudler but with speed, not without speed. Brunner is very fast. It would be awesome to see him on Helm’s wing. Two very quick guys. One with hands, one with endless reserves of energy, could be a very nice third line with Miller or Eaves thrown in!

Posted by Soupsnake from Canton, Mi on 06/22/12 at 03:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

College German is always pretentious!

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/12 at 03:23 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I could see a future with this guy and Jurco on the same line.  Like a miniature flying circus.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/22/12 at 04:17 PM ET

Chris #19's avatar

I just can’t wait for next season now !

Posted by Chris #19 from Lausanne, Switzerland on 06/22/12 at 04:50 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Throw him in the line up!  Wings need some new blood.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/22/12 at 05:04 PM ET


Ilari Filppula Redux

Posted by Alex on 06/22/12 at 07:45 PM ET


“Mike Babcock and I saw him play at the World Champions, and we liked what we saw,” Holland said. “He’s very talented.”

Sign Suter first, Mr. Holland. Sign Suter first. Parise second would be nice too. Brunner is the last item on your “To do this summer” list.

Posted by Alex on 06/22/12 at 07:48 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Bonus draft pick, folks. He’s no-risk, potentially decent reward, and if he doesn’t pan out, he can say he tried. This has been going on for some time now—since Brunner’s season with Zug ended—so this is simply one of many irons in the fire getting taken care of in a timely fashion.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/22/12 at 07:55 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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