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evilzyme

Top Swiss-leaguer Brunner to sign with Wings, Babcock has big plans

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Mark Streit was 28 when he came to the NHL. Like Brunner, he was the best swiss player in the swiss league at that time. Like Brunner, his lack of size and weight were criticized. But like Brunner, he made his reputation in the swiss league for his speed, his skills, his intelligence of play and his powerful wristshot.

Looking at what Mark Streit has done in the NHL makes me positive for Brunner to find his way to emerge as a regular NHLer. He's not the next Ovechkin or Stamkos, but I'm sure he can hit the 25 goal mark with a good playmaker centering him.

Good post, hopefully Brunner doesn't share Streit's disdain for playing defense though. Streit is terrible in his own zone...ugh.

Edited by kipwinger

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This has "Ville Leino" written all over it...

Except Brunner can actually skate. Leino is a pretty bad skater and can't stay on his feet if anyone lays a finger on him. Brunner is praised for his speed and his willingness to forecheck and play gritty.

Also, Leino had a bit of a one hit wonder season the year before he came to NA, but Brunner has played at a high level for 3 straight years including 2 good world championship performances.

I really don't see any glaring weaknesses in Brunner's game. His booming right-handed shot fills a need along with his speed. If you believe in NHL equivalences he's a 40 point NHL player based on his numbers in Switzerland. Seems like he's a safer bet than Leino and might have more upside.

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Except Brunner can actually skate. Leino is a pretty bad skater and can't stay on his feet if anyone lays a finger on him. Brunner is praised for his speed and his willingness to forecheck and play gritty.

Also, Leino had a bit of a one hit wonder season the year before he came to NA, but Brunner has played at a high level for 3 straight years including 2 good world championship performances.

I really don't see any glaring weaknesses in Brunner's game. His booming right-handed shot fills a need along with his speed. If you believe in NHL equivalences he's a 40 point NHL player based on his numbers in Switzerland. Seems like he's a safer bet than Leino and might have more upside.

Until he logs minutes in the NHL, I'm not equating anything he's done in Europe to potential NHL points. That's pretty fair I think. The Wings rolled the dice on Leino and Brunnstrom, both of whom had some great numbers in their respective leagues, and neither panned out.

An NHL player aquired for zero costs in assets? Oh the humanity!

I don't know why you're being dramatic, I just simply see a lot of parallels with the last two undrafted European players the Wings have tried to reclaim. I hope he excels, but recent history says otherwise.

No s***. Makes you wonder what an acceptable FA acquisition would look like if this one is already considered stillborn by some.

All I said was that the situation reminded me of Ville Leino. You used "stillborn". That was an association you made, not me. I don't know if it was directed at my comment, but I just find it curious that the Wings are hyping this player so much without even seeing him play a single NHL shift. Maybe it's a tactic they're using to drive prices down for top line forwards. Who knows

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Until he logs minutes in the NHL, I'm not equating anything he's done in Europe to potential NHL points. That's pretty fair I think. The Wings rolled the dice on Leino and Brunnstrom, both of whom had some great numbers in their respective leagues, and neither panned out.

I don't know why you're being dramatic, I just simply see a lot of parallels with the last two undrafted European players the Wings have tried to reclaim. I hope he excels, but recent history says otherwise.

All I said was that the situation reminded me of Ville Leino. You used "stillborn". That was an association you made, not me. I don't know if it was directed at my comment, but I just find it curious that the Wings are hyping this player so much without even seeing him play a single NHL shift. Maybe it's a tactic they're using to drive prices down for top line forwards. Who knows

Ah yes, the infamous hype machine. Look at all the hype everybody: “Can he adjust and play the North American game? We’re going to give him every opportunity. He’ll be a top-six forward to start with us and see where he goes with us.'' And then there's this, "I went to the World Championship and watched this guy practice every day, I watched him play,'' Babcock said. “I stood in the hallway and let him walk by me. Now, does that mean he’s any good? We think he is. Have I been wrong before? Many times".

Yes the hype is overwhelming, if by hype, you mean measured optimism mixed with a heavy dose of professional caution. Hype is when you compare Sidney Crosby fresh from the CHL, to Wayne Gretzky. This is not hype, you're just being a Negative Nancy.

Also, it's not like the Wings have never sent guys straight from the European leagues to the NHL before. You know, guys like Konstantinov, Fedorov, Lidstrom, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk.

Edited by kipwinger

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Until he logs minutes in the NHL, I'm not equating anything he's done in Europe to potential NHL points. That's pretty fair I think. The Wings rolled the dice on Leino and Brunnstrom, both of whom had some great numbers in their respective leagues, and neither panned out.

I don't blame you for being cautious, and I know the Leino/Brunnstrom comparisons will be made, but I really believe Brunner can be a decent NHLer. The first thing I look at is prolonged success:

Leino: put up decent numbers in Finland and then one year his numbers nearly doubled and then he came to NA. He didn't play the next year in Finland so who knows what his numbers would've looked like the next year - it very easily could've been a fluke season.

Brunnstrom: played well for two-thirds of a SEL season and tanked for the last third. It was probably just a hot streak, but he still only scored 10 goals in 66 games that season.

Brunner: 3 consecutive seasons where he's been very productive and consistent.

Next, I try to figure out how well a player's numbers will translate to the NHL.

Leino: poor skater and below average size was the big concern with him. The Wings stuck him in GR so they obviously didn't have a ton of confidence in him.

Brunnstrom: decent size, decent skater but the Wings wouldn't guarantee him any playing time in the NHL so he went to Dallas.

Brunner: good skater, below average size but is praised for overcoming it with his forechecking and grit. Also had two successful world championships playing against NHL players and it seems that the Wings feel he can play in the NHL.

With all that said, he could very easily be the next Brunnstrom. I don't know. I just think there are solid reasons to believe he can come in and be a decent 2nd/3rd line NHLer if he's given that role.

Edited by hockey23

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Brunner is going to come in and be Hudler's offensive replacement. The difference is, he seems to have a better defensive game and actually cares about the physical part of the game a bit....If he puts up 40-50 points he will be considered a successful signing...

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Until he logs minutes in the NHL, I'm not equating anything he's done in Europe to potential NHL points. That's pretty fair I think. The Wings rolled the dice on Leino and Brunnstrom, both of whom had some great numbers in their respective leagues, and neither panned out.

I don't know why you're being dramatic, I just simply see a lot of parallels with the last two undrafted European players the Wings have tried to reclaim. I hope he excels, but recent history says otherwise.

All I said was that the situation reminded me of Ville Leino. You used "stillborn". That was an association you made, not me. I don't know if it was directed at my comment, but I just find it curious that the Wings are hyping this player so much without even seeing him play a single NHL shift. Maybe it's a tactic they're using to drive prices down for top line forwards. Who knows

Neither Leino or Brunnstrom cost the Wings any assets, nor did they have a bad cap hit. The Wings are hyping Brunner not just because he was the leading scorer in the Swiss League, but also cause he was a point per game at the world championships playing on a weaker overall team. He's exactly what Babcock wants in the top 6 for a good reasonl.

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Guest Hatethedrake!   
Guest Hatethedrake!

I am cautiously optimistic on Brunner. He will be given a fair shot at making the team. I hope he succeeds. We could really use a scoring winger with a RH shot on the team, that's for sure.

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