Swiss Star Damien Brunner to Sign With Detroit
The Detrot Red Wings dipped into the free agent market a little bit early, reportedly agreeing to terms with Swiss League scoring star Damien Brunner.
Brunner is a 26-year old, right handed forward played for Zug the past four years. He is very skilled and can score points, as evident in his Swiss League stats, where he has scored over a point per game in the past three seasons.
The Red Wings haven't officially signed him because it isn't July 1st yet, but the terms of the deal have been agreed on and reports suggest it is a one year, two-way contract. This is very low risk, high reward for the Red Wings. If Brunner shapes out to be Jiri Hudler's cheaper replacement; excellent. He's faster than Hudler and shoots right on a team full of lefties. If Brunner can't make the cut in the NHL, he can be sent to Grand Rapids without having to clear waivers.
One thing is for sure; he should be in the Red Wings shootout lineup behind Pavel Datsyuk. Watch some of the following videos and tell me this guy doesn't have sick hands.
He led the entire Swiss A League in scoring with 60 points (24 goals), gaining attention of a lot of NHL teams, including Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. The scouting report has Brunner at 5'11, 180 pounds, with great hands and speed to burn. Elite Prospects even went on to say he played a gritty type of game but knows how to score.
This deal puts some pressure on Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. With extra competition, Brunner can push the young guys for roster spots. Obviously, he won't be given a spot on the Wings for nothing; he'll have to earn it in camp. Let's hope he does, because the Red Wings desperately need a goal scoring winger. Perhaps this is an underrated move that will keep the Wings afloat. Why not spend little money on someone better than Hudler, who is likely going to get a huge pay raise anyway? This way there's more money to spend via free agency. Look forward to July 1st when Brunner officially signs for more insight.