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Neil Sheehy says that Damien Brunner’s ready to wait for his next NHL opportunity

Martin Walti on Twitter sent me toward an article from the Die Nordwestschweiz Zeitung's Marcel Kuchta regarding one Damien Brunner.

Kuchta exchanged emails with herr Brunner's agent, Neil Sheehy, and Sheehy says that his client remains committed to signing an NHL deal, and Sheehy says that he understands that he and Brunner will have to wait to land their expected $3+ million payday. What follows is translated German:

"There's a lot of speculation regarding Damien because he hasn't found a new employer. People who believe that he hasn't received an offer because he wants too much money have no idea [what's going on]. Money was not and is not the priority for him. He wants to play where he has the best opportunity. In that sense, nothing's changed," explains the Canadian [agent].

Sheehy would be a poor agent if he wasn't aware that his client is still able to play in the best league in the world. He writes: "Yes, there are NHL teams interested in signing Brunner. And yes, I'm certain when I say that Damien will play the upcoming season in the NHL."

Sheehy raises no doubts that he is prepared to wait as long as it takes for the right opportunity to arise.

"We must be patient."

Clearly he's constantly making decisions, including some that aren't easy to understand at first glance. As for the rejected bid of the Red Wings, who helped him make the jump to the NHL, Sheehy said: "Damien loved his time in Detroit in every instance, but he's looking forward to new opportunities."

Kuchta continues, and suggests--sans input from Sheehy--that Brunner may end up in Colorado, Anaheim, Phoenix, Dallas or Buffalo.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Chet's avatar

he made some major defensive gaffes last year, but that can be fixed.

guy’s good for 25-30 in the right situation.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 08/15/13 at 02:20 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 08/15/13 at 03:11 AM ET


Money may be the public explanation for Brunner still being unsigned. I think that a strong latent reason for Brunner saying no twice to Detroit is b/c Brunner really doesn’t want to play for Babcock.  That’s fine, a lot of players feel the same way. Too bad, I liked ‘em.

Posted by beelza on 08/15/13 at 05:28 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Every indication I’ve gotten regarding players and Babs is that he may be a hard-ass, but he does want his players to succeed, and this past season he really did change his coaching style to accommodate more player input. Tom Renney’s addition also helped big time in the player relations department. I can tell you for absolutely certain that Holland felt that he made it abundantly clear that if Brunner chose to test the market and then “circle back” to the Wings, the tean had to assume that he wouldn’t be back and make adjustments accordingly. Sheehy seems to have overestimated his client’s value on the open market, and it’s bitten Brunner in the ass.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/15/13 at 06:47 AM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

I think Brunner doesn’t want to play on the 3rd line in Detroit, not for 2.5 mill a year.

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 08/15/13 at 07:27 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 08/15/13 at 03:11 AM ET


Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 08/15/13 at 07:57 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

I’d still like to see Brunner back.  Maybe after Detroit makes some of the trades they’re gonna have to make to be cap compliant, that could happen.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/15/13 at 08:19 AM ET


Brunner’s gotten fairly awful advice, I think.  It doesn’t take a very smart person to figure out that mayyyyybe heading into a year where the cap is dropping across the board isn’t the best time to try and stick up the UFA market for a big deal.

The smart play would be to sign the two year decent tender Detroit likely made, and then move on from there.

Same deal with Cleary.  Both agents really screwed this one up.  With Cleary it makes a tiny bit more sense as we’re dealing with his last contract, maybe second to last.


Posted by HockeyinHD on 08/15/13 at 09:03 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Money was not and is not the priority for him. He wants to play where he has the best opportunity.

I’m calling bullshit on that statement. If it was only about the “opportunity,” Brunner could have been part of an incredibly talented Wings team this year. And he would have been given every “opportunity” to play on any line from the 1st to the 3rd.

I’m convinced Damien wanted a guaranteed $3M per year contract and a guaranteed spot on the 1st or 2nd line. He tried to “bluff” the Wings and they “called” his bluff. So, good luck in Colorado, Anaheim, Phoenix, Dallas or Buffalo, Smiley.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/15/13 at 11:55 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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