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The Malik Report

Red Wings expect Damien Brunner to ‘move on to a different situation’

Updated 4x at 5:12 PM:

Per the Red Wings' conference call introducing Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson, Wings GM Ken Holland told the media that he is still talking with Daniel Cleary and will touch base over the next couple of hours...

But he stated that he expects Damien Brunner to "move on to a different situation."

Regarding the roster crunch up front and the salary cap--the Wings have a capgeek-estimated $2.3 million of cap space with RFA's to re-sign in Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson, but they can exceed the cap by another $6.4 million (so that's $8.7 million in total availble space)--he stated that the Wings obviously have to move some bodies and that he would explore options over the next month or two as the roster is a work in progress.

Update: Otherwise...

Daniel Alfredsson sounded very emotional. He suggested that if this may be his last season, he didn't want to impose his desire to win a Cup upon a Senators team that he feels is "getting there" but remains in the process of becoming a contending team, and after bouncing things off Henrik Zetterberg 3 times, he decided to make what he stated was an admittedly selfish decision to join the Wings and chase a Stanley Cup championship.

The emphasis on "his last season" was "if it is," not "it is," and he very bluntly stated that he completely understood that Senators fans would be angry at him, just as he would be upset if someone on his favorite sports team made a decision that didn't benefit it, and he stated that the decision he made came within the last week.

He promised to keep his charitable commitments to Ottawa and said that his four boys and Mrs. Alfredsson will move with him to Detroit for the year, and he'll take it as it goes after that...

And he was very excited to be joining the Wings given his belief that the team's a contender, and that he's going to be playing with some world-class players in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

According to Ken Holland, he and Mike Babcock spoke with both Alfredsson and Weiss in a pair of 45-minute conversations yesterday, and they sold the pair on coming to Detroit. Holland stated that he, Ryan Martin, Jiri Fischer, Kris Draper and everyone else in the room were surprised to hear that Alfredsson was coming to Detroit, but they were happy as well.

Weiss sounded a little flabbergasted about joining the Wings. He stated that he had dreamed of playing for the team during his time with Plymouth, and while he will play his game instead of trying to live up to the "Weisserman" comparisons that were daunting as a youngster, he's going to embrace the pressure of stepping up to shut down opponents and be relied upon as a strong second-line center behind Zetterberg and Datsyuk, saying that he promised he'd do everything Babcock and the team wanted to contribute to the cause, and that he was excited to come to a hockey market where pressure is part of the job.

Holland stated that with Jimmy Howard locked up for 5 years as an elite goalie, Datsyuk here for four more years, with a young but strong-skating, puck-moving defense and forwards who developed significantly over the course of the past year, the Wings felt that they needed more offense and more balance up front as they fell one game short of going to the Western Conference Finals twice now, and have wanted to get further in the playoffs, so...He felt very happy to add the players he did.

Here's more on Brunner:

And in the prospect department...

Update #2: ONE MORE THING: Darren Helm told Piet Van Zant that he's feeling good going into the summer development camp, and Holland felt that having Datsyuk/Zetterberg, Weiss, Helm and Andersson would be huge up the middle.

Update #3:

Update #4: MLive's Ansar Khan confirms that Brunner's gone:

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said today that Brunner is moving on, after turning down the club's offers of a two- or three-year deal.

Holland said he remained in contract with the agent for forward Daniel Cleary.

As of 5 p.m., Brunner and Cleary had not signed with a team.

Brunner, 27, made a smooth transition to North America after starring in the Swiss league, scoring 10 goals in his first 19 games while playing on a line with Henrik Zetterberg, his linemate in Switzlerland for EV Zug during the lockout.

But, he hit a wall by midseason, not accustomed to the rigors of NHL travel and the long season. He scored only one goal in his next 21 games and finished the season with 12 goals, 14 assists and a minus-6 rating.

He got his second wind in the playoffs, picking up five goals (including the overtime tally in Game 4 vs. Anaheim in the first round) and four assists in 14 games.

The Red Wings valued him for his goal-scoring ability and right-handed shot. But, they weren't prepared to give too much money and term to a player lacking a proven track record in the NHL.

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Comments

SYF's avatar

Like go back to the Swiss leagues.  Fuch him.  I really liked him with Nike and Mr. Andersson, but he now has this seeming prima donna horseshit all over him.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/05/13 at 04:45 PM ET

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That’s what I don’t get - we still need to drop some forwards, so how do we make a trade that gets us something we can actually use? You trade 2 guys for 1, you only cut 1 guy off the roster and you need to find a way to use the guy you just picked up.

And no matter your opinion of them, it’s still weird when guys come and go, and Brunner’s case in particular is kind of stinging.

Free agency is weird…

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 07/05/13 at 04:46 PM ET

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I don’t begrudge Brunner for cashing in.  Apparently there are many teams wanting to sign him, some team is going to pay up.

Posted by bababooey on 07/05/13 at 04:49 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Sad to see Brunner go, finally we had our scoring winger…  Hopeful that next year has a few in the UFA dept.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/05/13 at 04:52 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

I feel like there has got to be more to the Brunner situation then this.  Holland made it pretty clear that their respective camps aren’t talking and that Brunner is already as good as gone.  I wonder if there were some other issues during the season we didn’t hear about

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 07/05/13 at 04:59 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Please read the good news on Helm.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/05/13 at 05:00 PM ET

Soupsnake's avatar

I feel like there has got to be more to the Brunner situation then this.  Holland made it pretty clear that their respective camps aren’t talking and that Brunner is already as good as gone.  I wonder if there were some other issues during the season we didn’t hear about

Holland offered him two different deals before noon today. He just wants to look at his other options. There is no big secret scandal here.

Awesome news about Helm. He is my favorite player and I can’t wait to see him on the ice again.

Posted by Soupsnake from Canton, Mi on 07/05/13 at 05:06 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I’ll be cautious on Helm, George, just to avoid crushing heartbreak later.  He could feel good now and have it flare up on the ice with all the awkward twists and pressures on the back.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/05/13 at 05:10 PM ET

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Brunner can fook himself while he makes loads of cash on a dead-end team

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 07/05/13 at 05:11 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Just imagine a healthy Helm back in the line up??

Stop it !  Stop torturing me!

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/05/13 at 05:13 PM ET

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Minus brunner plus helm. Boom. I’m fine with that. Move Anderson to wing

Posted by letsmakeit12 on 07/05/13 at 05:14 PM ET

henrymalredo's avatar

I feel like there has got to be more to the Brunner situation then this.  Holland made it pretty clear that their respective camps aren’t talking and that Brunner is already as good as gone.  I wonder if there were some other issues during the season we didn’t hear about

Holland offered him two different deals before noon today. He just wants to look at his other options. There is no big secret scandal here.

Awesome news about Helm. He is my favorite player and I can’t wait to see him on the ice again.

Posted by Soupsnake from Canton, Mi on 07/05/13 at 05:06 PM ET

I didn’t mean to imply that there were any scandals or off-ice, I was just wondering if perhaps Brunner didn’t enjoy his time with Detroit as much as he said he did.  I just found it surprising that any contact seemed to stop as soon as he hit free agency

Posted by henrymalredo from Lansing on 07/05/13 at 05:21 PM ET

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Minus brunner plus helm. Boom. I’m fine with that. Move Anderson to wing

No, then Andersson centers the 4th line. Dats, Weiss, Helm and Andersson as your 4 centermen is a nice luxury and Emmerton goes bye bye.

But like many, I’ll believe Helm is ready when I see him on the ice.

Posted by godblender on 07/05/13 at 05:21 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

grin

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 07/05/13 at 05:44 PM ET

Curley's avatar

Looking at the players with contracts and the RFA’s that need to be signed, something has got to give!!  If the Wings and Jackets keep making great progress this offseason I can see a DET-CBJ ECF!! IRONIC!!

Posted by Curley on 07/05/13 at 05:52 PM ET

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I don’t blame Brunner for cashing in, IF he can get 4M from some idiot GM.  Remember that he’s fairly old for a rookie.  But if he goes somewhere else for 2.5M, that’s just dumb.

I don’t like the precedent Brunner and Leino have set, play, do well, cash out on another team.  I don’t like the Weiss signing either (I’d have given Stalberg .25M more per year.)  I also like the Komisarek deal, cheep cheep.

Wishing it was the second coming of 2002, to get Alfie, Iggy and Hainsey.

Lastly IMO, Smith may be traded.  I’d trade him and sign Babchuk (but I’ve been a Babchuk fan for a long time).

Posted by zombietroy on 07/05/13 at 05:53 PM ET

pgoody's avatar

Brunner signed with Chicago!

Posted by pgoody on 07/05/13 at 06:04 PM ET

pgoody's avatar

Posted by pgoody on 07/05/13 at 06:05 PM ET

IMOrthodox13's avatar

I think the Brunner situation was more to do with his notorious a-hole agent and Brunner’s naivete.

Posted by IMOrthodox13 on 07/05/13 at 06:16 PM ET

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Brunner resigned!  at 2.8 that’s win win if you ask me.  I think Sammy will be bought out now.

Posted by zombietroy on 07/05/13 at 06:33 PM ET

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Hmmm…not recorded but supposedly 2.8 for 4.

Posted by zombietroy on 07/05/13 at 06:38 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Brunner resigned!  at 2.8 that’s win win if you ask me.  I think Sammy will be bought out now.

Hmmm…not recorded but supposedly 2.8 for 4.

Link please or is this another attempt at lame humor… haha.

Posted by calquake on 07/05/13 at 06:44 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

TSN free agent tracker has not changed his status. I suspect the fact he is looking for multi year, and has very small NHL experience sample, GM’s are gun shy. So expect the flyers to give him 5 years @ 5 mil.

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/05/13 at 07:16 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I think the Wings are at the 50 player limit after the Glendening signing.  Can they even sign another player without moving someone first, or do they just have to be under come october?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/05/13 at 07:18 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

Hey we could always trade some forwards to Winniepegger for Meech smile

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 07/05/13 at 07:50 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

News on Brunner: Meh
News on Helm: (quietly, cautiously whispers YES!)

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/05/13 at 09:06 PM ET

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No, then Andersson centers the 4th line. Dats, Weiss, Helm and Andersson as your 4 centermen is a nice luxury and Emmerton goes bye bye.

I would think/hope the plan is to keep the great GR line of Andersson/Nyquist/Tatar together.

Posted by Garth on 07/05/13 at 11:42 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.