Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: Hope on the Brunner front and draft talk (a.k.a., “No one knows”)

This talk kind of scares me, because I remember Jiri Hudler's agent, Petr Svoboda, insisting that Hudler, "Loves Detroit" right before he bolted for Dynamo Moscow, but I'll take what I can get.

After a week in which Damien Brunner pondered the lure of free agency while speaking to the Swiss media, Brunner's agent, Neil Sheehy, spoke with the Free Press's Helene St. James about Brunner's situation (which she assessed last Friday), and while cringe-worthy in the "I've heard this before" department, she delivers good news:

Brunner’s agent, Neil Sheehy, told the Free Press on Tuesday that Brunner “will sign longer than one year.”

Sheehy also emphasized that Brunner “loves Detroit.”

As we already know, Brunner's situation is very complicated. He's 27 (at this point, it bears noting that he turned 27 in March), he came over from the Swiss NLA and registered 12 goals and 26 points over the course of 44 games, which translates to roughly 19 goals and 41 points when accounting for Brunner playing for 91% of an 82-game regular season (75 games)...

And he earned a $92,500 signing bonus, the vast majority of $425,000 worth of performance bonuses, and 48 games' worth of a $925,000 base salary (total cap hit = $1.35 million, per Capgeek)...

But Brunner scored 10 goals in his first 19 games, then ran into conditioning and, "You can't make that extra move in the NHL once everybody has scouted you on video and broken down your tendencies" walls, and then he registered 4 goals and 9 points over the course of 14 playoff games played.

In theory, a "rookie" with those kinds of numbers over the course of a rookie season would be worth about $2 million. But Brunner is not necessarily a rookie, and in theory, he's mature enough to post better numbers when he's more ready for the brutal pace and physical battles involved in a long NHL season.

In any case, the Wings will have to pay a premium for Brunner's services--he's in for a Bryan Bickell-sized raise--and at least it's good to hear that Ken Holland's going to sit down with the notoriously tough-negotiating Sheehy at the draft:

“We’ve had discussions,” Sheehy said. “We’re scheduled to talk again in New Jersey this weekend.”

Negotiations always come down to money, and here’s what both sides are trying to figure out: Who is Brunner? Mr. Consistent Goal Scorer, or Mr. Hot and Cold?

“Those are always issues,” Sheehy said. “If you have a long track record, it makes it easier. Nonetheless, he’s a good player. We’ll see where talks go.”

The fact that Brunner acquitted himself well as a 2-way player on the Andersson-Nyquist line is good, and some of us (me) might argue that he could have performed better on the power play if the Wings coaches' obsession with placing a right-shooter on the point hadn't all but removed Brunner from the equation (see: Brunner pinches, and, inevitably, the puck goes back to the right point Brunner has vacated, forcing the Wings to carry the puck all the way back up the ice again; see also: Brunner's one-timers from both the right faceoff circle and the "Steve Yzerman spot" at the bottom of the faceoff circle, which the Wings' players are so naturally programmed to feed with passes that Nicklas Lidstrom himself would make rare pinches from the point to score power play goals there)...

And as the Wings were nearly unbeatable when scoring 3 or more goals, but struggled so mightily to reach that point, the Wings need to 1. Sign Brunner and 2. Sign or trade for another goal-scorer, even if it is that second-line center that Khan, Pleiness, St. James and Art Regner have all told us that the Wings will pursue given Filppula's inevitable departure.

As such, the Wings will pay what they have to, and St. James' estimate as to what Brunner's going to receive in terms of a cap hit is spot-on:

His value comes from scoring and the fact he’s one of the few Wings who shoots right-handed. Somewhere in the $2.5-million-per-season range should work for both sides.

I'm guessing that he's going to make a little more than that (see: a salary that rises to the $3 million range) on a long-term deal, but that's fine with me. Lock him up.

As the Score's Dave Lozo suggested, in an article chronicling the key figures or each and every one of the NHL's 30 teams going into the off-season, Brunner's the Wings' top priority for the present moment:

Detroit Red Wings, Damien Brunner: Along with Valtteri Filppula, Brunner is the biggest UFA decision for Ken Holland. At 27, Brunner isn’t a spring chicken, but he had a solid first year in the NHL and he’s the likely the guy that reminds old timers Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson to take their medicine and record NCIS. Filppula is 29 and a perpetual disappoint. He’s basically the writing version of me from five years ago. It may be time to cut bait and move on if Filppula’s demands are far exceeding that of Brunner.

 

 

In terms of possible players that the Wings might target, again, if we are to shift our focus from scoring wingers to second-line centers, we have to shift our focus from Bickell, David Clarkson, Nathan Horton and Michael Ryder (or perhaps Jaromir Jagr?) to Mike Ribeiro, Stephen Weiss, Tyler Bozak, Derek Roy, Nikolai Antropov or perhaps Daniel Briere (though he wants to stay on the East Coast as he's divorced and his kids live in Philly)...

But I cannot deny that reading the Tampa Bay Times' Damien Cristodero's suggestion that the Lightning may buy out Vincent Lecavalier and/or Ryan Malone intrigued me, and while GM's seem to be lying through their teeth about not using cap-compliance buy-outs (see: Paul Holmgren insisting that he was not going to spend "humongous big" money buying out Ilya Bryzgalov), I breathed something of a sigh of relief when Sportsnet's Geoff Lowe and Mark Spector stated the the Edmonton Oilers won't buy out Shawn Horcoff.

 

 

The Wings may make a cap compliance buy-out (or two), too, and the Globe and Mail's James Mirtle believes that the Wings should buy out one player:

10. Mikael Samuelsson, Detroit Red Wings

Years left on contract: One

Buyout cost: $2-million

Breakdown: There’s a complication with buying out Samuelsson in that he’s been battling injuries all season. Injured players aren’t eligible to be bought out, meaning he will be back with Detroit next season if he’s not fully recovered by the July 4 deadline. That would then turn GM Ken Holland’s buyout attention to someone else on the roster, with defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo the most likely candidate.

 

 

 

Regarding this Sunday's draft (all 7 rounds will take place on Sunday in Newark, NJ, starting at 2:30 PM, and TSN and NHL.com tend to air at least the first round, which takes 3 hours, as well as the 2nd through 7th round, which also take about 3 hours), I've come to the conclusion that NOBODY FRICKIN KNOWS what will happen after the first 5 picks.

NHL.com posited 3 mock drafts, and their draft experts picked 3 different players at the Wings' first round spot, 18th overall. The Hockey News's Ryan Kennedy picked defenseman Robert Hagg, who was taken in one of the three NHL.com mock drafts, Hockey's Future's Adam Schnepp believes that the Wings will pick defenseman Ryan Pullock...

And on Tuesday evening, TSN conducted a mock draft and the release of TSN's Bob McKenzie's final draft rankings.

McKenzie pegs center Curtis Lazar as the 18th-best prospect available, and while Craig Button suggested that center Morgan Klimchuk was the 18th-best prospect available in early June, he believes that the Wings will draft London Knights center Bo Horvat.

USA Today's Kyle Woodlief believes that the Wings will draft...A sixth player...

18. Detroit — Adam Erne. A few other teams have passed on this premium talent because of lingering attitude concerns. This is how Detroit stays on top. They get studs like this later than they should, and then rely on the strong culture of their room to bring him into line. Watch what happens when Dan Cleary takes this kid under his wing.

And the I've heard the names of Frederik Gauthier, Kerby Rychel, Anthony Mantha, Mirco Mueller (my pick), Kerby Rychel, Hunter Shinkaruk, Samuel Morin, Ryan Hartman, Josh Morrissey, Max Domi, Nicolas Petan, Chris Bigras and Shea Theodore ALL bounced around as possible Wings picks.

Depending on who's doing the mock drafting, those players--all 19 of them--get drafted somewhere between 10th overall and 45th overall.

So I have no *#$%@& clue who the Wings are going to get, and given the fact that they pick "the best player available," and given the fact that this is supposed to be a deep draft, the fact that the Wings want to add some big bodies up front to the mix won't necessarily determine who they draft.

We All Bleed Red on YouTube posted a video of Button picking Horvat (sometimes he's picked 10th, sometimes in the low 20's) on TSN...

And I stumbled onto the following video of a former Red Wings executive who happened to be in charge of the Red Wings' amateur scouts until he left the team talking about his new team's draft plans (quote of the video: "The player you get at 40 could be as good as the player you get at 10):

Let's get two things straight here:

1. No, the Wings will not move up. Moving upward at the draft is always, always cost-prohibitive, and at this point, there is no doubt whatsoever that the Wings can find what someone has deemed to be a "top-15" prospect at 18, so I don't see them moving down--but it's happened before;

2. No, the Wings will not get a 1st-round pick for Valtteri Filppula's rights. At best, they could have gotten a 2nd-round pick had they both signed him and traded him at the deadline, and they're more likely than not to get a 3rd, 4th or 5th-round pick for him at the draft. Maybe two low picks. Nothing more.

Teams know the Wings won't retain his services, and teams know that they're going to have to invest over $5 million per season over the course of 4+ years to sign the poster boy for inconsistency and unfulfilled potential, so he's going to be flipped for little return. It is the way of the drafting world.

For the record, the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan profiled Macomb, MI native and 6'5," 228-pound National Team Development Program winger Michael McCarron, and yes, he'd like to be drafted by his favorite team, even though he has a 1-in-30 chance of becoming a Wings prospect.

Craig Button's mock draft doesn't have him going in the 1st round and Bob McKenzie has him ranked 34th.

To summarize:

(they're a remarkably good band live)

 

 

In the availability department, I'm going to be out of the home office, as it were, from about 10:30-2, so the usual crop of mid-day news will have to wait until I get home (and holy *#$%@&, it's 4:30 in the morning and I have to get up at 9:30, dammit, how did that happen again? Oh right, reading 40+ foreign-language websites and starting on this at 2 AM--yes, for five to ten minutes of your time, assuming that you're not a member of the slight majority of readers that just scrolls through and gives this 1-2 minutes, I tend to put in 2-3 hours a night).

 

 

And finally, the fundraising has....Stalled. I'm at $800, which is awesome, but I need to raise a lot more than that over the next week-and-a-half to make the summer development camp work financially.

I will say this, however: you're going to see the Paypal button all summer long--if I don't start a Kickstarter for the fall prospect tournament and main camp, as some of you have suggested--as I've found that I generally start "breaking even" somewhere in mid-July, but that's gonna be tough this year as I have $22 in my bank account and the fam can't afford the annual vacation in Grand Marais ( :( ). Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated, and the same can be said for spreading the word.

I would like to attend the Red Wings' summer development camp from July 9-17 in Traverse City, MI, but I am a blogger. My paycheck is not very big, and due to health crap, this is the only job I've got. As such, I do not have the funds to pay for gas to get me to Traverse City or 11 days of a hotel stay.

During previous years, I've asked you to lend a hand and you've come though in a big way. I need to ask, if it is at all possible, that you might consider tossing a few bucks into the Paypal tip jar. I've generally found that the smallest donations, $5, $10, stuff like that, end up paying for gas and a huge chunk of my stay, and anything more is a bonus.

So if you want to donate, that's awesome, if you don't want to donate, that's cool, and one way or another, I hope to get up there and provide you with in-person, every-day coverage.

My "ID" is my personal email address, rtxg@yahoo.com, and you'll need to use that as the person you're sending $ to.

Spaceba!

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Comments

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Wings need to 1. Sign Brunner and 2. Sign or trade for another goal-scorer,

The Wings may make a cap compliance buy-out (or two), too, and the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle believes that the Wings should buy out one player:

10. Mikael Samuelsson, Detroit Red Wings

So, Detroit needs to overpay for a guy who may be a goal scorer, they need to sign a second goal scorer, but they need to buy out a 20 goal per 82 game goalscorer, too.

You know, so they can fit a 20 goal per 82 game goalscorer under the cap.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/26/13 at 04:45 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

If you want the Wings to keep Samuelsson, that’s fine with me, but I don’t know if he can stay healthy any more.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/26/13 at 04:58 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Also: if you can offer a better solution than my slightly spiral logic, please inform. Otherwise you’re writing another Nolan Finley column, and I’ve gotten tired of clicking on the Detroit News’s homepage and reading, “Something is wrong, other people are wrong, outrage, outrage!” with no suggestions for improvement being offered.

Where do you see the Wings’ goal-scoring coming from? Do you believe Samuelsson is still a viable player and/or a 20-goal-scorer? Do you believe that the Wings’ younger players can provide said scoring? Or who is your preferred free agent or trade target?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/26/13 at 05:02 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Sammy’s old bones can’t take it anymore. I’d rather have Brunner.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 06/26/13 at 06:37 AM ET

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If you want the Wings to keep Samuelsson, that’s fine with me, but I don’t know if he can stay healthy any more.

Can Darren Helm?  Should he be bought out?

Also: if you can offer a better solution than my slightly spiral logic, please inform.

Sure.  You keep him.  If he’s healthy, then no problem.  If he’s hurt, then his cap hit goes on LTIR and the same thing that was accomplished by buying him out is accomplished anyway. 

Buying out a contract with one year left at 3 mil is really stupid.  If it was a 3+ year deal then sure, buying the guy out is a viable option I’d support.  At 2 years I’d consider it.  At one year, that’s just goofy.

Where do you see the Wings’ goal-scoring coming from?

Here is the problem, George.  The primary reason the Wings struggle to score goals in general and big goals in particular is that their two best forwards aren’t very good goal scorers anymore.  Trying to chase goals from spots way down the depth chart while D and Z struggle to score is an exercise in futility.  As long as D and Z are the big ticket forwards on the roster offense in the form of goals is going to be an issue. 

Problem #2 is that there isn’t much blue line offense any more.  In 14 playoff games Detroit got three goals from the dmen.  Trois.  Last year they got 1 in 5.  In 2008-9 Detroit got 16 in 23 games.  In 2009-10 they got 9 in 12 games.  In 2010-11 they got 9 in 11.

Last two years: .21 dman goals per game.
2011:      .82 dman gpg.
2010:    .75 dman gpg
2009:      .70 dman gpg.

So, that’s an issue.  That’s the reason why I’ve pushed for a Letang over other options.  Detroit needs some legit offense from the blue line far, far more than they need a better version of Kyle Quincey.

To answer your question, then, Detroit’s 2013-14 goal scoring based on their existing roster is going to have to come from… pretty much the same guys it had to come from last year, plus Dekeyser.  The hope is that rather than providing 2 combined goals like they did last year Bert and Sammy combine for 30-35, that Helm returns to some degree of efficacy and is able to put up 15 from the bottom 6 while Andersson adds some production instead of the garbage offense Detroit got from their cadre of noodle arms in the bottom 6 last year, and that Dekeyser plus Smith plus Kindl are a better offensive blue line group than White, Colaiacovo, and Kent bleeping Huskins.

Do you believe Samuelsson is still a viable player and/or a 20-goal-scorer?

I think it’s a moot point.  If he is, then great.  If he’s not and he’s hurt, then he’s LTIR’d and his cap hit is gone anyway.  If he’s healthy, he’ll be at least competent.

Do you believe that the Wings’ younger players can provide said scoring?

Do I think any of the young players can be a 20 goal guy next year?  No.  I mean, I suppose they could, but in order to do that Babcock would have to throw over so much of the defensive scheme of the team it’d be a Pyrrhic accomplishment.

Or who is your preferred free agent or trade target?

I think it’s smarter to wait out the buyout period and see what falls, both externally and internally.  If Detroit isn’t going to buy out anyone (and the only one I’d realistically consider is Tootoo, especially if they’re going to just misuse him the way they have), then trading or the FA market is meaningless because they don’t have the roster spots.

Not to be excessively mean, but ‘I like our team’.  If even just one of Sammy or Bert is healthy the whole composition of the roster will look different.  If they both are Detroit will be a top 6 offense.  If Helm is back the bottom 6 gets a lot harder to play against.

That Detroit team without Sammy or Bert or Helm or Dekeyser took the bleeping Cup champs to 7.  That’s not too shabby.  On top of that they are going East, which is going to be spectacular for the team because the East is weaker than the West.

I don’t think any major corrections are in order.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/26/13 at 07:40 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Brunner has also proven he’s a competent two-way player, a competent goal scorer, able to stay healthy over an extra long season, and is 9 years younger than Sammi.  If he plays for the same money or less, Brunner is the better pick.

And for my money, I’d much rather buyout a player with Sammi’s contract, than choke down a Bryz style buyout over the next 14 years.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/26/13 at 08:36 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Not to mention, its the lack of solid dmen that’s making it hard for them to score, not the forwards lack of production.  Spend all shift trying to help your d get the puck out of the zone, you wont have much energy left for offense.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/26/13 at 08:39 AM ET

Avatar

Tatar/Sammy can pretty much take Brunner’s spot with little loss in offense (or defense—you are giving Brunner WAY to much credit defensively).  Sammy’s better defensively and actually hits somebody.  You don’t cringe every time Brunner gets the puck at the point with Sammy either.

I’d rather spend the Brunner $$ alotment on Clarkson.  Brunner leaving eases the logjam of forwards, let’s you keep an Eaves, for example, if you can’t get a Clarkson-type.  It would be a win-win for Holland/Babs too, so they could sign their beloved Cleary.  Brunner is certainly not keeping me up at night.

Sammy at 1 year for $3 million or Brunner at 3-5 years, $3 million per.  Do you want Brunner facing Chara 6 times plus 1st or 2nd round of playoffs every year or Clarkson for 5 years? Or Sammy for 1 year?  Don’t the wings have enough small forwards in the pipeline?  Use the money to get the same (or better) production with a bigger body if you can, KH.

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/26/13 at 08:58 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

You have chosen to ignore comments from this member.

Ahhhh…. that’s better

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/26/13 at 08:59 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Don’t the wings have enough small forwards in the pipeline?  Use the money to get the same (or better) production with a bigger body if you can, KH.
Posted by jkm2011 on 06/26/13 at 08:58 AM ET

Exactly.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/26/13 at 09:02 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

The big thing for me on Brunner is that for a “rookie,” he didn’t display any hesitation to go to the areas that you need to to score goals. He isn’t a “natural” goal scorer with a heavy shot or Datsyuk-slick-hands. He reminds me more of Zetterberg offensively in that he has learned that while he doesn’t shoot hard, he shoots accurate, is strong on the puck, and that if he’s willing to play bigger than he is and live below the circles, he has the hockey IQ to score goals.

On Samuelsson, I agree with HIHD on this one. He is the buyout candidate that still has the most on-ice value to the way this team plays the game if he gets healthy. Assuming there are no trade partners for Tootoo, he’s clearly the best buyout candidate. Then you have Bertuzzi and Sammy, who both have had health issues, but if healthy going into the season, both still have value (albeit in different ways). So flip a coin. But Bert is older, has dealt with more injuries in his career, and scarier, lingering ones at that.

Not to mention, its the lack of solid dmen that’s making it hard for them to score, not the forwards lack of production.  Spend all shift trying to help your d get the puck out of the zone, you wont have much energy left for offense.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/26/13 at 08:39 AM ET

I get what you mean, and mostly agree, but let’s be fair—this team played great defense down the stretch and into the playoffs. They really were dynamite at ES. The D unit learned how to play good D as the season went on, but yes, their puck movement to help start offense lagged behind.

But going into next season, I think we have more reason to be excited about that improving. Watching Kindl down the stretch and through the post-season was a treat—we could see him learning the offensive side of his game right in front of our eyes… better first passes every game, more control at the offensive blue line, walking the puck around and making good passes/shots on net. DeKeyser showed a really good ability to pass and skate it out of his own end before the hand injury. And even Kyle Quincey, once he came back from the injury, looked much improved in his puck movement.

I still maintain that this team can’t be a Cup team until they at least have another puck mover that is near (or at, or above) Kronwall’s level. But for the first time since Kronwall, we now have young guys on the team that we can have some reasonable hope will develop into a player like that in a year or two’s time (Kindl and Smith).

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/26/13 at 09:11 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Fact is, we have 3 potential scoring lines if we resign Brunner and pick-up another scorer.  Probably 4 given Tatar’s little goal scoring ass is coming to the big show.  But we do need some size up front, sammy ain’t got it.  One of the reasons I like Clarckson so much is his attitude.  It’s infectious and he’s like a pitt-bull.  Not the biggest, but tenacious.  He scores a lot of goals, garbage style.  Most his goals really are just dirty.  One of my biggest complaints with the Wings is they try to get too cute, too often.  A hard-nosed, ready-and-wiling guy like Clarckson reminds me of Homer in his tenacity.  But Clarckson will hold oppositions accountable as well.  Doesn’t get much better than that for me and I think it’s exactly what the Wings need.  It’d be like bringing in Shanahan after the ‘96 let down to get us over the hump.  He brought that missing element to the top lines.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/26/13 at 09:18 AM ET

RW19's avatar

Well Brunner at $3 million isn’t so bad, I was afraid we were talking about Hudler money. As for Sammy his body is battered beyong belief at this point and you just have to look at the list of injuries he has had since he scored those 30 goals way back when in Vancouver. Knees, stomach, shoulders, fingers and now chest muscles ripping. At this point he might just be capable of 50-60 games only, still decent depth if they can move others out.

Draft wise if they could land Horvat that would be a steal. Rychel or Erne also would be nice, giving them hard driving forwards for the future. Personally I can’t see Horvat getting to the 18th pick. Anyone who saw the Knights play knows that this guy is in the Zetterberg mold and his bio reflects it: captain, leader, clutch, heart, champion etc.

As for upgrades. I still think Holland will have to get his big forward or right hand shooting defenseman via the trade route. Bikell and Clarkson will get ridiculous money thrown at them and I’m not sure Kenny wants to blow up his salary scale for these two guys.

Posted by RW19 on 06/26/13 at 09:25 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Off-topic’ing like hell, but…

Hey George, have you seen them play down here last year? Youtube has the full concert

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3tx1M8nxoU

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/26/13 at 09:25 AM ET

Avatar

Not to mention, its the lack of solid dmen that’s making it hard for them to score, not the forwards lack of production.

That would be more true if the forwards lack of production was something that began at the moment the dmen became less ‘solid’.  It’s not, though.  Z’s production has been slipping for 5 seasons now.  Datsyuk’s been a less productive forward the past 4 years.

Detroit’s blue line has been solid, at least defensively, the whole time.  But yes, I agree that the problem of blue line production is a significant one.  Just that’s it’s one which is only two years old.  Detroit’s problem with goal scoring from D and Z predates it.

Brunner has also proven he’s a competent two-way player, a competent goal scorer, able to stay healthy over an extra long season, and is 9 years younger than Sammi.

I like Brunner, somewhat… but he ‘proven’ pretty much nothing.  Doing something once isn’t proving you can be expected to consistently do it.  Fil scored 20 goals once, too.  As far as Bruner’s two way play goes… it’s one thing to be decent defensively when you’re on the third or fourth line playing against the oppositions third and fourth lines.  It’s quite another to be out there against better opponents and not get exposed.

At this moment, I’d say Brunner is an adequate defensive player as long as you keep him away from the other teams top lines.  I mean, as a top 6’er he had 6 ES goals in February and was still a -2 for the month.  Then he went cold and didn’t score in March and was a -6.  So, if you’re on the ice for 6-8 goals against a month, you have to score around 40 just to break even.  That’s not what I’d describe as a ‘competent two-way player’.

Once he got out of the top 6 he was still able to produce, he just wasn’t as badly burned by the other teams lesser offensive players.

In a whole lot of ways Brunner’s a speedier version of Hudler.  He is most likely to be best employed in the same fashion: as a 3rd 4th line offense generator who isn’t in a position to get blown off the ice by good opposition offensive players.

For this Wings team that kind of guy is worth 2.5-3 mil a year, I think.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/26/13 at 09:47 AM ET

Avatar

Ahhhh…. that’s better

It’s certainly going to be more your speed.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/26/13 at 09:52 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I’m beginning to care less and less about re-signing Brunner.  Let him sign elsewhere and miss out on the run DET will likely make next season.

I hear CGY is willing to overpay for inconsistent, one-dimensional scoring.

Posted by Primis on 06/26/13 at 09:59 AM ET

Primis's avatar

As for Sammy his body is battered beyong belief at this point and you just have to look at the list of injuries he has had since he scored those 30 goals way back when in Vancouver.

Posted by RW19 from a pool by the Rideau River near Ottawa, Canada on 06/26/13 at 09:25 AM ET


“As for Bertuzzi his body is battered beyond belief at this point…”

“As for Cleary his body is battered beyond belief at this point…”

And now you see DET’s problem.

Posted by Primis on 06/26/13 at 10:02 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Datsyuk’s been a less productive forward the past 4 years.

No, he’s actually become more productive since 2010, with this year being his best statistical year (regular season) of the 4.

I like Brunner, somewhat… but he ‘proven’ pretty much nothing.

And Sammi has only scored 20+ goals twice, and those were 4 seasons apart.  Not alot of proof there either.

For this Wings team that kind of guy is worth 2.5-3 mil a year, I think.

I agree, and since that is the kind of money everyone has been talking about, what the hell are you even arguing for?  Brunner is healthier than, younger than, and at least as talented as Sammi, so if its for the same money or less, he’s the better option (by far IMO).

Posted by Hootinani on 06/26/13 at 10:04 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

On Samuelsson, I agree with HIHD on this one. He is the buyout candidate that still has the most on-ice value to the way this team plays the game if he gets healthy. Assuming there are no trade partners for Tootoo, he’s clearly the best buyout candidate.

I see this completely opposite.  Tootoo is the buyout candidate with the most to offer, if Babs would let him play.  The line with him, Eaves and Emmerton was a great energy line that was defensively sound and generated chances.

As for Sammi, this is year two of the revolving IR for him.  I don’t think he does healthy anymore.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/26/13 at 10:11 AM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/26/13 at 07:40 AM ET

You makes some good points, but you really need to stop beating this drum with regard to Datsyuk:

The primary reason the Wings struggle to score goals in general and big goals in particular is that their two best forwards aren’t very good goal scorers anymore.

Datsyuk’s career GPG average is 0.32. Last year, his GPG was…0.32.

Pavel Datsyuk has had exactly one down year in goal scoring: the 2011-2012 season.

With Zetterberg, you’ll get no argument from me. You’re right. He’s fallen off. But the Datsyuk argument doesn’t wash. He’s had one down year since he received a prominent scoring role on this team in 2003. He’s actually been remarkably consistent. Probably the most consistent goal scorer the Wings have had for the past 10 years.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 06/26/13 at 10:12 AM ET

Avatar

Tootoo is the buyout candidate with the most to offer, if Babs would let him play.

I agree sort of.  He has the most to offer in that he’s a tradeable asset.  There’s nobody currently in Detroit’s bottom six that I would sit in favour of Tootoo.

Posted by Garth on 06/26/13 at 10:43 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Who has two thumbs and just purchased tickets to the 2014 NHL Winter Classic?


THIS GUY!!!!!!!

*you have to picture me pointing my thumbs back at myself for this to work*

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/26/13 at 12:28 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I’m beginning to care less and less about re-signing Brunner.  Let him sign elsewhere and miss out on the run DET will likely make next season.

I hear CGY is willing to overpay for inconsistent, one-dimensional scoring.

Posted by Primis on 06/26/13 at 09:59 AM ET

Brunner may not be able to handle the physical aspect of the NHL. He is unproven as far as I am concerned. He made a comment regarding being hacked in the back of his legs and cross checked constantly during the playoff run.(to me that is called whining)
This is the big league. It happens all season long. Deal or go back to Europe. 48 games is not enough to convince me. He does have natural ability, but, does he have the toughness and grit needed to play in this league?

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 06/26/13 at 12:34 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

I’m sorta with Kate on this.  I’d like to think that he’ll work hard over the offseason and come back in better shape and stronger, but I’m still not sure he can last for a 100 game year.  If he signs, I’d love it if he proved us wrong.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/26/13 at 12:38 PM ET

Avatar

I’m still not sure he can last for a 100 game year

He lasted for a 91 game year, and in fact came back pretty strong towards the end of it.

It’s amazing how quickly some of you are willing to turn your back on a guy based on a good year and quotes from both him and his agent indicating that he wants to stay in Detroit, and in fact wants to play in Detroit for the long term, and has given no indication whatsoever that he’s demanding a huge payday from the Wings.

Posted by Garth on 06/26/13 at 12:46 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

I’m not turning on him.  If he comes back, great. He’s a decent player with a great shot.  But playing in 91 games (half Euro) is not the same as 100 NHL games.  We’ve all discussed how he disappeared for stretches this season, most likely due either to conditioning or not up to the physical challenge of the opposition.  Also, it took him a while to find his shot when they took Captain Hank away from him.  Hopefully he’s doing some push-ups as we speak, but some of us have some valid doubts.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 06/26/13 at 12:51 PM ET

BC's avatar

The team needs scorers.  If it is Brunner and another (big) guy, great.  If it is two new guys instead (Brunner gone) so be it.  It is hard to argue that the latter scenario would cost less money than the former, however.

Posted by BC on 06/26/13 at 01:03 PM ET

SK77's avatar

It’s amazing how quickly some of you are willing to turn your back on a guy based on a good year and quotes from both him and his agent indicating that he wants to stay in Detroit, and in fact wants to play in Detroit for the long term, and has given no indication whatsoever that he’s demanding a huge payday from the Wings.

Posted by Garth on 06/26/13 at 12:46 PM ET

Actually, I think some of us are just trying to have a conversation.

Of course we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if Brunner had already signed the reasonable contract that’s most likely been offered to him.

If anything, people around these parts seem to think Kenny offers overly-generous contracts (See: Tootoo, Ericsson, Howard, Quincey, Pavel, etc.) and he certainly doesn’t have a track record of being a hard-ass.

As such, this unsurprisingly leads to some of us trying to have a conversation until certain other people stop talking and start signing.

Posted by SK77 on 06/26/13 at 01:10 PM ET

IMOrthodox13's avatar

I’m surprised to see how many people are dissing Brunner on here. The guy is not a Leino - Brunner is not afraid to go to the net and park himself in front of the goalie or crash the net, he can also score off the rush. He proved he can score in the playoffs. Despite all the cross-checking and slashing, he never backed off. Leino was nothing more than a perimeter player. Sure we don’t have a complete NHL season sample - that only plays to the Wings’ advantage on this next contract. Don’t forget that during his “slump” he was battling through a strained hip-flexor.

And yes, we do need to add a power forward in the bigger east who won’t get pushed around so easily. As much as I like Gus and Tats and Brunner, we need someone who can park themselves in the crease and make space for the skilled guys who, because of physics, can be pushed around. It’s not a knock on them. Brunner displayed skills as good as any I’ve seen at finding those gaps and getting open near the net, but you need balance and it’s size and strength and grit that opens up those spaces. Brunner is a goal scorer. Do I prefer to have him at the point? No. But to say that Sammy is better on the point is ridiculous as he had as hard a time as anyone keeping the puck in and even though he has a hard shot - he rarely hits the net. I’d love to see his percentages of missed shots. Please, oh please, use the compliance buyout on Sammy and sign a big goal scorer, and re-sign Brunner and the Wings will be fine.

Posted by IMOrthodox13 on 06/26/13 at 01:11 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

People arent dissing Brunner, they’re just saying he’s not the hottest thing since sliced bread.  He worked well with the Wings and benefitted from Hank going over to get to know him on the ice before he came to NA.  If his agent, who’s known for being a hard-ass, plans on dragging this out to milk every scent, a lot of us aren’t interested.  If his agent would like to be reasonable, most fans would be glad to have him back.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/26/13 at 01:38 PM ET

Avatar

Of course we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if Brunner had already signed the reasonable contract that’s most likely been offered to him.

Of course, it’s just a “conversation” surrounding the idea that he must have been offered a reasonable contract which, we can only assume, he wiped his ass with and them shoved it down Mr Illitch’s throat.

I mean, the fact that they are scheduled to meet on Sunday must mean that he has shit on all over their previous generous offers.  That’s just the most obvious conclusion to jump to.

Also, it took him a while to find his shot when they took Captain Hank away from him.

Yeah, but he did find it.  He didn’t start off strong and disappear into a hole.  He, by his own admission, hit a bit of a wall in his adjustment to a different league with a different speed and a different sized ice, and then he overcame it and found a pretty good niche after being separated from one of the team’s two best players and joining a line made up of two other guys who were AHL call ups.

[quotePeople arent dissing Brunner, they’re just saying he’s not the hottest thing since sliced bread.]

You might want to read some of the other threads, because some people have been ready to shove him off a cliff the second he didn’t sign a new contract at the same salary before unlacing his skates after Game 7 against the Hawks.

Posted by Garth on 06/26/13 at 01:47 PM ET

Avatar

Its not so much the cap hit that makes Sammy expendable, its the roster limit.  What drove me crazy this year was the revolving door of Sammy coming off IR, sending someone to GR, Sammy getting hurt again the next practice, calling someone back for a game or two, etc.  Once the third line found chemistry that stopped, and it seems to me like that chemistry paid off in the playoffs.  Imagine a whole season of that.

That needs to end, good things happen when the kids play and play a lot, and better yet get 2nd or 3rd line minutes.

Posted by maltby18 on 06/26/13 at 02:00 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Z goes to the second line center and his goal totals die, his assists go up, yet his production falls off.

I know we don’t like to PSH it and look at stats only but FFS people at least look at things in black and white. And if we want to give it ‘the eye test’, who carried this team when it was needed the most?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/26/13 at 02:00 PM ET

IMOrthodox13's avatar

That’s right Garth. I’ve read on this forum and MLive - people saying we should not re-sign him, that he is terrible defensively, that he doesn’t go in the corners, etc. which is all bogus. There were many examples of him back-checking ala Datsyuk and taking pucks away. Does he have more work to do defensively? Of course. Show me a rookie who doesn’t. The kid learns fast and adapted as the season went on. Give the guy a break, it was his first NHL season.

Posted by IMOrthodox13 on 06/26/13 at 02:00 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Of course, it’s just a “conversation” surrounding the idea that he must have been offered a reasonable contract which, we can only assume, he wiped his ass with and them shoved it down Mr Illitch’s throat.

Dude, what planet are you even from?

There’s no one here throwing him off a cliff. There are reasonable questions regarding Brunner’s regular season slump, his relative newness to the NHL and lack of track record, and his conditioning. There are a lot of unknowns with Brunner, and since he’s not resigned yet (when others have) some of us are going to have ourselves an actual conversation if that’s okay with you.

Can Brunner be a legitimate top six forward? He got out of his slump after being moved to the third line where he no longer had to face the opposing team’s top six forwards and best defensive pairs.

Personally I like Brunner as a player. I like what I perceived to be his desire and drive, his goal scoring ability, and despite not being a big guy he went to the places on the ice where you’re going to get hacked and slashed.

If he resigns with the Wings I personally would be cool with that, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t questions. And if he ends up taking a better offer somewhere else, which is his right, then it’s not the end of the world like it would be if Pavel hadn’t re-upped.

Posted by SK77 on 06/26/13 at 02:15 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Give the guy a break, it was his first NHL season.

And he has a great attitude.  His comment about being slashes on the back of the legs indicates he’s a whiner?  Really?  If that singular comment is enough to condemn him in some of your minds, it really does come across like you’re looking for a reason to turn on him. 

The rules are different in the playoffs and he experienced it.  When asked about it, he talked about it.  It’s all part of the learning curve to him and he said so.  And never forget that the quotes you’re reading aren’t in his first language, and probably not his second or third either (Switzerland has four national languages; none of them are English).  I’d love to see any of you answer reporters in a language that isn’t your first.  My guess is you’d come across a wee bit different than you might necessarily think you would.

Dude, what planet are you even from?

There’s no one here throwing him off a cliff.

See above.  YOU may be trying to have a rational conversation.  There’s a lot of more emotion based conversation occurring with or around you, however.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 06/26/13 at 02:21 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

Not dissing Brunner. Have never thrown him over the cliff. My main concern is his ability to compete at an NHL level in a grueling NHL season format.

In his career (since 2006 I think) his most games played are 50, not including the playoffs in Europe. His numbers look good enough, but is he tough enough, or, will it take a few seasons to develop into an NHLer? I like Brunner, but questions linger.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 06/26/13 at 02:34 PM ET

IMOrthodox13's avatar

Agree with Shanetx.

“His comment about being slashes on the back of the legs indicates he’s a whiner?”

No… it means that he was willing to go to the hard places where he was going to get cross-checked and slashed on the back of the legs.

Posted by IMOrthodox13 on 06/26/13 at 02:37 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

“His comment about being slashes on the back of the legs indicates he’s a whiner?”

No… it means that he was willing to go to the hard places where he was going to get cross-checked and slashed on the back of the legs.

Posted by WingnutBP on 06/26/13 at 02:37 PM ET

Welcome to the NHL. It’s a players job to go to the hard places.


Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 06/26/13 at 02:44 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.