We’re still early in the days of the free agent signing period, though most of the big fish have already been reeled in, but it looks like all signs point to Damien Brunner and the Detroit Red Wings parting ways. He’s still without a contract, but it doesn’t look like his new one will come from Detroit either.
We haven’t heard much on the negotiations between the two sides, but Brunner had made it a point that he wanted to test the free agent market. While doing so, the Red Wings have gone out and signed a couple of key players, including Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson. Is there even room for Brunner?
The rookie season for the Swiss product was one with ups and downs. At times, he showcased an incredible ability to handle the puck, and dazzled us with his skills in the shootout early in the season. There were stretches where he disappeared for quite some time, but he rebounded and closed the 2013 season on a very high note.
Brunner finished the regular season with a solid 26 points in his first season, adding another nine when the playoffs rolled around. He was part of a third line for Detroit that really fared well in the postseason. Overall, while he’s already 27, he showcased plenty of potential as a flashy forward in this league. Can the Red Wings really afford to let him walk?
The answer is probably a yes. Brunner had a hard time against tougher competition, as evident by his going missing for stretches during the regular season. He’s wanting a salary up in the range of $3.5 million, at least a million more than the Red Wings are willing to pay. He wants top six opportunity, which the Wings also cannot afford him.
There simply isn’t a match here, and it’s no big deal that the Wings are letting him walk. He’ll be a very solid player elsewhere, but at the price he’s asking, and for the role he desires, there simply isn’t a fit with the Red Wings anymore, especially given their offseason moves to this point.