The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/17/13 at 12:51 PM ET
Last night's translated article from Sport.ch's Tobias Wust apparently originated from a 10-minute interview that Red Wings free-agent-to-be Damien Brunner gave to Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, and here's a solid translation of their highlighted transcription of the interview (three videos are embeddded in the story, but I'm guessing that you're not going to get much out of them if you don't speak Swiss-tinged German):
Brunner: "The motto is practice, practice and practice."
Damien Brunner registered 17 goals over the course of 58 games played during his first NHL season with Detroit, and he reached the second round of the playoffs. The Swiss forward discussed his future potential and his pals on the Red Wings' [roster].
Question: Damien Brunner, Chicago and Boston are currently battling in the Stanley Cup Final. You played with the Wings in the quarterfinal series against Chicago, and while you led the series 3 games to 1, you lost the series. Do you sometimes think that you could've been in the final instead?
Damien Brunner: No. I was incredibly disappointed immediately after the loss. But at some point you've got to let it go and check it off your list. We had a huge opportunity when we were leading 2-1 in Game 6 after 2 periods, but we gave up two really dumb goals. Chicago ultimately deserved to win.
Question: During your rookie season, you registered 17 goals and 18 assists over the course of the regular season, which are impressive totals. How personally satisfied were you with your first months in the NHL?
Brunner: I was very proud that I managed to establish myself in the league. But I'm already looking forward: I want to work even harder this summer and be even better next season. In some areas, I have the potential to improve. I have a ton of ambition to "push" myself further.
Question: In which areas do you see the greatest potential for improvement?
Brunner: There are little things that I have to adapt to, because in North America there's less room on the ice. In Switzerland one can skate through the neutral zone with a lot of speed, but in the NHL, you have to stop and start more often. Offensively speaking, you have less time to pass or make a fake-out in the corner, and instead, you've got to try to keep the puck moving to your teammates. In America they call it "ass out." This isn't as easy against 1.90-meter opponents. So I have to get a little sneakier and a little stronger. The motto is: practice, practice, practice.
Question: Did you receive feedback from the front office?
Brunner: I spoke with the general manager and the coach in an exit interview conversation. We reviewed the season and looked ahead. Everything had a positive tone. But at the same time, I received feedback that will help me focus on the right points.
"Good friendships were built"
Question: Your contract with Detroit expires. Will you remain with the Red Wings?
Brunner: I can't say anything [for sure]. Until July 5th, I can only negotiate with Detroit. If we don't reach an agreement by then, I'll be "on the market" and every team can bid for me.
Question: You obviously settled in with Detroit incredibly well. You recently Tweeted a photo of you and Pavel Datsyuk. Who are your best friends on the Wings?
Brunner: I lived in the same location at Justin Abdelkader, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl. I spent a significant chunk of my spare time with them. On road trips I mostly hung out with Pavel Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula. We went to the movies a lot and had dinner together. It built good friendships.
"I do my fitness-training with my father"
Question: What are your plans for the coming weeks and months?
Brunner: For the next week I'm taking a break, and then I'm going to start my strength training. I'll probably start practicing on the ice in mid-August, and at the end of the month I'll travel back to the United States.
Question: Will you train with other Swiss players this summer?
Brunner: I actually do my fitness training with my father. But I'm sure that I'll also be working with [Montreal Canadiens forward] Raphael Diaz in the weight room.
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