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StormJH1

Damien Brunner - Value? Comparables?

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I found it absolutely laughable that members of this board thought Brunner would be anything but mediocre this year. You are throwing a player who hasn't developed under American hockey, hasn't played as many games in a year as he has this year, and hasn't gained the physical strength needed to play in to the NHL with top line minutes and expect him to flourish? Brunner is VERY talented and will be a great player in the near future, but the guy is exhausted. Zetterberg is exhausted. Most of the players that went to Europe to play are exhausted. Let Brunner settle in for a year where games are spread out and injuries aren't so rampant and you'll see he can be a great player.

I'm sorry but exhaustion is no excuse! So they went to Europe and played in a league that's 75% of what the NHL is, then started the season here. Okay? So that's equivalent to almost a full year of NHL play. Zetterberg is a seasoned vet. This is his job. If the leader of the team is exhausted, what does that say about the rest of the team? If Brunner hasn't got the physical strength needed to play in the NHL with top minutes, then why is he in the NHL and not AHL? Denial can be a hard pill to swallow. Yes, he is very talented, and I hope he progresses 200% But guys like Nyquist or Tatar have been seasoning in the AHL and are both ready NHLers, why shouldn't they be on the big club over a guy like Brunner who hasn't proved anything, been drafted, or even been seasoned in the AHL?

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Guest DeGraa55   
Guest DeGraa55

I'll still take his streakiness thus far over franzens. At least when Brunner isn't scoring he still skates!

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I just wonder what the excuses will be if he tanks next year too (if we sign him). I can see it now, "It's his first full season, the workouts, the preseason, training camp, playing original six teams..he's tired and needs to adjust" blah blah blah. Good players show up. Bottom line.

He deserves leeway because - as far as I know - he's 101% Swiss (i.e. born, raised, lived). How many factories in Switzerland? How many world-class programs? How many all-world Swiss players in NHL history? In the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Versus, say, the States.

Say you're a six-year-old living in, I dunno, New Jersey. It was decided 300 years ago that you would play in the NHL and crush Gretzky's records before you're 24. That's just how things are in Your Family.

Seven years old - you're playing AAA. You're in Canada every other weekend ("playing-up" three years). You're getting your ass handed to you, but it's good for your development. Still, you're getting your ass handed to you. So, you start juicing. So, by the time you're twelve, you look like you're thirty.

You have no life outside of hockey. Literally. And it only gets better (worse) from here until draft day! You go to such and such a prep school because Coach So and So has a great program there. You play hockey, you drink, you play hockey, you play hockey (you drink). Same deal in college/university. Except, well, you're, what, a freshman? And you're not even 300 pounds? You might as well stop now. Just give up. Obviously you lack the internal drive and natural love of the game. Henry So and So over there on your right wing? He's only 11 years old and he's 6'5 and 500 pounds and he's scoring 900 goals a shift. You think Henry sleeps? You think Henry eats? No. He f****** doesn't. So you push yourself, lose your sanity, see to it that Henry gets tossed out of school for such and such a federal offense, and - before you know it - it's Draft Day! And...you're just barely in it. The Coyotes take you dead last, and you're never heard from again. (No one cares about the AHL.) And you get fat. And you never really stopped drinking. And then you die.

That's the U.S. Machine. That's not even Canada.

And here's Brunner, who probably never tasted this "developmental grind." And he's coming to The Big Show "cold." (No "soft intro." No "acclimation period." No growing up eating, sleeping, breathing, s***ting, living, dying ice hockey. No steroids. No hardcore track. No soul-shredding pressure. No fanatical, cut-throat environment to keep you "on-track" your whole life.)

And you know what? He's doing pretty well for himself.

He's lived a certain kind of life. He's played a certain kind of way. All of that is being run over by a truck called the National Hockey League. I'd give him points for even being in one piece come the postseason. And, again, this is an absolutely ridiculous grind of a season, even for the best of the best of the best (which Brunner is nowhere close to being. Which, if you step back and think about it, is kind of insane.)

Edited by Dabura

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Hard to judge Brunner right now. Yes he is in a new world-literally. But he is also 26/27. There just isn't much time to "develop". The thing that makes or breaks pro athletes is, can they adjust after the league has seen them and developed a game plan for them? Some do, most don't. I hope he makes it and spend the next 5+ years here scoring 20+ goals per year. But time will tell.

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Hard to judge Brunner right now. Yes he is in a new world-literally. But he is also 26/27. There just isn't much time to "develop". The thing that makes or breaks pro athletes is, can they adjust after the league has seen them and developed a game plan for them? Some do, most don't. I hope he makes it and spend the next 5+ years here scoring 20+ goals per year. But time will tell.

You act like he doesn't already have the skillset. He doesn't need to "develop" more than just getting used to the style of hockey. He already HAS the skills needed, he just needs to learn how to utilize them in a new environment. As for being 26/27, who cares, as long as the person is willing to learn and not be stuck in their ways, they're going to keep developing. He has already shown that he's willing to listen to the coaching staff and become a better NHL player.

The biggest thing for him right now is simply travel and workload. He's not used to it. Now that he knows what it's about, he can work his tail off and know what is in-store the following season. He can better prepare for the new style of hockey he belongs to. People can explain things to you all day long, you can watch videos all day long, but up until you actually go live and try something; you just don't know and can't train fully. It's like practice and training camp. Sure, you're playing scrimmages and you're pushing hard but nothing is like game-time and game-pace. You can think you're in shape until you actually go through your first full game. I mean, look at NHL veterans, they need 10-15 games into the season to get up to speed and into it. If they need 10-15 games to get up to speed and going, you can expect Brunner who's not experienced with the league to take much more. Account for that within a compressed 48 game schedule and it's just not working well.

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You act like he doesn't already have the skillset. He doesn't need to "develop" more than just getting used to the style of hockey. He already HAS the skills needed, he just needs to learn how to utilize them in a new environment. As for being 26/27, who cares, as long as the person is willing to learn and not be stuck in their ways, they're going to keep developing. He has already shown that he's willing to listen to the coaching staff and become a better NHL player.

The biggest thing for him right now is simply travel and workload. He's not used to it. Now that he knows what it's about, he can work his tail off and know what is in-store the following season. He can better prepare for the new style of hockey he belongs to. People can explain things to you all day long, you can watch videos all day long, but up until you actually go live and try something; you just don't know and can't train fully. It's like practice and training camp. Sure, you're playing scrimmages and you're pushing hard but nothing is like game-time and game-pace. You can think you're in shape until you actually go through your first full game. I mean, look at NHL veterans, they need 10-15 games into the season to get up to speed and into it. If they need 10-15 games to get up to speed and going, you can expect Brunner who's not experienced with the league to take much more. Account for that within a compressed 48 game schedule and it's just not working well.

Well, yeah, but the NHL isn't a skills competition. (Except when it ends in a shootout!...ba-ZING!) Yes, there are some players that excel statistically because of a particular skill they have that makes them "elite" in that regard. For example, it helps that Zdeno Chara shoots 100mph. That's a useful skill when you shoot from the point. But there are other guys that have absolute cannons (Kurtis Foster comes to mind, but so do a bunch of AHL defenseman that burned out) that never become elite offensive defenseman because they lack some other parts of their game, and can't "put it all together".

You say that you watch Brunner and he "already has the skillset". That may be true - I've seen a lot of those same flashes also. But I've also watched hockey long enough to see guys like Joe Juneau, Maxim Afinogenov, the Kostitsyn brothers, etc....guys that plenty of people watched and said "that guy's gonna be a perennial 30 goal scorer", and it just didn't happen. It's not just about Brunner "catching up to the league", the league is catching onto him too. When I watch him, I see a guy who has a bag of tricks that probably would've gotten him 25 goals (instead of 11) if he had played these NHL games in the Swiss league instead. The goalies are better here, and the defenses are more skilled and organized, and they also operate in tighter dimensions. This isn't an attack on Brunner, personally, it's the same thing we've seen with Brunnstrom, Leino, and 95% of the guys who were just STUDS in Europe, and were somewhere between "forgettable" and "slightly above ordinary" in the NHL, save for a few flashes of brilliance here and there.

And I just don't buy the conditioning thing. It's certainly true that some NHL players hold up better over the course of the season, but there's no evidence that Brunner's conditioning was "poor" coming into this season. If anything, his speed and conditioning are the strongest parts of what he offers. When I compared him to Hudler, that wasn't an insult. If the Wings could find a legit NHL'er from overseas outside of the draft (and without sacrificing any picks or players), a free Jiri Hudler would be a HUGE deal. I'm just warning that the odds of him becoming better than what we saw earlier this year, or even sustaining that level of play for any length of time, are not that good.

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I'm sorry but exhaustion is no excuse! So they went to Europe and played in a league that's 75% of what the NHL is, then started the season here. Okay? So that's equivalent to almost a full year of NHL play. Zetterberg is a seasoned vet. This is his job. If the leader of the team is exhausted, what does that say about the rest of the team? If Brunner hasn't got the physical strength needed to play in the NHL with top minutes, then why is he in the NHL and not AHL? Denial can be a hard pill to swallow. Yes, he is very talented, and I hope he progresses 200% But guys like Nyquist or Tatar have been seasoning in the AHL and are both ready NHLers, why shouldn't they be on the big club over a guy like Brunner who hasn't proved anything, been drafted, or even been seasoned in the AHL?

Because given the same opportunity, neither of them scored in the NHL the way Brunner did. And both of them were developed here. That's why. Without any seasoning or development, without knowing the system, without a training camp or any knowledge of his teammates Damien Brunner has scored more goals than Nyquist and Tatar have combined...in their entire NHL careers.

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Every season people make at least one post about how much the Wings have to travel. Now we take that terrible travel schedule and we make all the games closer together. And then we say he should be able to magically get used to traveling/playing every single day on top of adjusting to a new league with new ice. Dont't forget that all of this should take him less than half a season.

Seriously, give the man a break.

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It blows my mind how hard Wings fans are on our players. Coming into the season, if you would have told me that Brunner would have done as well as he has and worked as hard on his game as he has I would have been ecstatic. He's got a great attitude, natural skill set, and a great work ethic. He will acclimate and we will see what type of player he will become, and my bet is that he will be a completely serviceable addition to this team. There are a lot of other players to look at on this team and point out how they're not pulling their weight or living up to expectations, and as far as I'm concerned Brunner is not one of these by a long shot.

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It blows my mind how hard Wings fans are on our players. Coming into the season, if you would have told me that Brunner would have done as well as he has and worked as hard on his game as he has I would have been ecstatic. He's got a great attitude, natural skill set, and a great work ethic. He will acclimate and we will see what type of player he will become, and my bet is that he will be a completely serviceable addition to this team. There are a lot of other players to look at on this team and point out how they're not pulling their weight or living up to expectations, and as far as I'm concerned Brunner is not one of these by a long shot.

It's funny because when months ago, before the season started there was a thread in which people were making predictions about how well he would do in the shortened season. Mine was 12 goals and 18 assists, so I'll probably fall a bit short. But some people (admittedly in the minority) were suggesting 20+ goals this year. I wonder if those are the same people that are disappointed now? I have no idea where these expectations came from.

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You act like he doesn't already have the skillset. He doesn't need to "develop" more than just getting used to the style of hockey. He already HAS the skills needed, he just needs to learn how to utilize them in a new environment. As for being 26/27, who cares, as long as the person is willing to learn and not be stuck in their ways, they're going to keep developing. He has already shown that he's willing to listen to the coaching staff and become a better NHL player.

The biggest thing for him right now is simply travel and workload. He's not used to it. Now that he knows what it's about, he can work his tail off and know what is in-store the following season. He can better prepare for the new style of hockey he belongs to. People can explain things to you all day long, you can watch videos all day long, but up until you actually go live and try something; you just don't know and can't train fully. It's like practice and training camp. Sure, you're playing scrimmages and you're pushing hard but nothing is like game-time and game-pace. You can think you're in shape until you actually go through your first full game. I mean, look at NHL veterans, they need 10-15 games into the season to get up to speed and into it. If they need 10-15 games to get up to speed and going, you can expect Brunner who's not experienced with the league to take much more. Account for that within a compressed 48 game schedule and it's just not working well.

You realize we said the same thing? he ahs to develop physically and mentally.

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Guest mjtm77   
Guest mjtm77

All things considered, he's doing much better than I (and many others, I'm sure) had expected. The Swiss league he hails from is nothing compared to the NHL. This "season" is ridiculous (by NHL standards), and it's wearing down guys who are legitimate NHLers. Franzen, our vaunted Goaling-Scoring Power Forward, isn't exactly tearing things up. Datsyuk and Zetterberg (and maybe Kronwall) have basically thrown the team on their backs. Are we going to get on Brunner's case because he's not Datsyuk or Zetterberg? And, hey, Datsyuk and Zetterberg though he may not be, he is, what, second in goals on our team? I get that you sort of have to "put those goals in context," or whatever, but, at the same time, goals are goals, numbers are numbers, we can use all the help we can get, and I see no reason to ride this guy especially hard. I mean, what happened to Filppula? Remember him? Anyone seen him lately? Perhaps he fell down a well?

no one cares about oher players. We are talking bout brunner.

anyway my opinion is a good third line goal scorer with skill, good hands. Doubt he will ever score 35 goals like people thought he would at the start of the year. but overall a good add to this team.

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In confused by all the hate.... He has more goals than Z correct?

And all the hate about his conditioning and mental toughness and the grind? Seriously, can we use the same bulls*** excuses for the rest of our team?

Hes hit a skid cuz the NHL woke up and took note of this dude.

He will have to adjust his game for a full season for certain if he wants to bury pucks but thus far Brunner has been a pleasant suprise.

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In confused by all the hate.... He has more goals than Z correct?

And all the hate about his conditioning and mental toughness and the grind? Seriously, can we use the same bulls*** excuses for the rest of our team?

Hes hit a skid cuz the NHL woke up and took note of this dude.

He will have to adjust his game for a full season for certain if he wants to bury pucks but thus far Brunner has been a pleasant suprise.

I don't consider it "hate" at all. Virtually everyone here wants him back, and that was by no means a foregone conclusion when we took a flier on him. The comparison to Zetterberg is not particularly useful. First of all, Z is playmaker and an elite 2-way player. It's pretty well established that Z's goal totals over a full season are going to be in the low 20's. But he has twice as many assists as that, and is extremely valuable defensively.

Brunner is the inverse of Zetterberg - he's the guy that should be on the receiving end of those passes, and he arguably is one of the most "shot first" players on the team (2nd on the team, actually to Z, which surprised me), and I like that about him. But his overall game is nothing like Z's. Dan Cleary has more goals than Z also, and nobody in their right mind would argue Cleary has been better than Zetterberg this year. (Hockey statistics are incredibly flawed across the board...Zetterberg is a minus-3, while Kindl is a plus-13. The best players get the toughest matchups, and +/- holds individuals accountable for something one of the other 5 guys on the ice might have screwed up).

The debate here is because we are almost certain he will be on the Wings next year, so I don't want him saddled with an unreasonable contract that will:

(a) Hurt the Wings against the Cap and prevent us from making other moves; and

(b) Turn the fanbase against him because of his bad deal. The hate for guys like Quincey and (previously) Ericsson isn't so much that they're the worst hockey players ever, it was that people didn't perceive the cap hits they carried as being consistent with their actual contribution.

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Does everyone remember the last goal he got where Nyquist passed him the puck when he was on his off wing ready for a one-timer and he hammered it home a la Stamkos and Ovechkin? If he was able to play left wing (I think he's on the right side) and line up there all the time and had a heads up passer like Gus who puts it on the tape he'll get a lot more of those and his value will be even greater. This just falls into the thread as well "the Wings have no offensive creativity". Babcock just needs to keep set pairs together. Z-Dats, Brunner-Goose, and Mule-Flip and slot guys around them if he wants a puck retriever. Brunner's 1st season, he's had at least 1 shift with probably every forward on the Wings. There's no continuity. He's in a new league getting to know new linemates every 5 shifts.

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One of the stats I finding interesting is his shot totals. He took a ton of shots in the first couple months and had 10 goals in 21 games. Since then he's been taking less shots and has just 1 goal. Maybe that has to do with ice time or injuries or fatigue, but this kid needs to find a way to get the puck to the net more.

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One of the stats I finding interesting is his shot totals. He took a ton of shots in the first couple months and had 10 goals in 21 games. Since then he's been taking less shots and has just 1 goal. Maybe that has to do with ice time or injuries or fatigue, but this kid needs to find a way to get the puck to the net more.

I think that has to do with timing now. He can't get his shot off because he delays too much, or he'll try to drag it too long. Defensemen are just getting their sticks on the puck and forcing it up or aside. It could all be fatigue, or the league not giving him as much space, etc.

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He does delay a lot, but I think he'll improve in that area. He's only going to learn that there's very little time to make a play like that over here. I'd like to see more of those one timers and I think we will going forward. Probably not this season, but definitely next. Brunner's going to be a real good goal scorer for this team, he's exceeded expectations so far, and is only going to get better as his strength, conditioning, and comfort improve.

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After last night, Brunner has played a half-season's worth of games (41), and has 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points.

His hot start and subsequent cooling down probably suggest that might not translate to a 50 point season, but the stats definitely give me hope for his future. I definitely see him settling down more next season after getting the "rookie" jitters out of the way in this shortened one.

Anyway, here's hoping we re-sign him so we can see what he's got in a full season. I think he's earned that chance this season.

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I'm not sure if anyone has these feelings but i'll bring up what I've been thinking. Maybe you guys can settle some irrational thoughts.

So I have mixed emotions about Brunner and if he's going to stay in the NHL, or at least want to re-sign with Detroit. When he first came here, he was all smiles and happy. He loved the opening night and coming out of the tunnel, he had gotten the full "NHL bright lights" experience. He started off real hot, most likely due to playing during the lockout and having the physical advantage of having his legs under him immediately at the start of the season. Still all smiles. We can all expect when a goal scorer is scoring, they're happy. But when he started to cool down, his demeanor had changed to me. He started being more "depressed" looking. Even in his interviews, he just seemed like he was out of it. I'm not sure if its fatigue, or if he honestly isn't enjoying his experience right now. Could it be that he's facing adversity immediately when he came into the NHL? Adversity not only having the league adjust to him, but coming to a team in the middle of a transition. I watched his face when others scored, even when he was assisting and it just seemed like he wasn't smiling anymore. It was like someone stole that spotlight from him, and he didn't exactly like it? We know that he had been the leading SEL producer for 2 years (IIRC?) before coming over here. He was known as the go-to guy back in the SEL, the superstar. It's different here. He wasn't in the spotlight. Maybe he isn't used to it?

I know this is absolutely irrational and is probably the furthest from the truth, but, I thought it would be fun to bring up. Last night he had seemed like he was just beyond tired during the interviews during the intermission and after the game. So most likely... he's just tired haha.

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Does anyone have a video clip of his breakaway yesterday? I only saw it once but it looked hilarious and at one point I swear Nyquist though wtf is he doing lol...I love the Brunner just to clarify and thought he played a great game...but man that was funny

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I'm not sure if anyone has these feelings but i'll bring up what I've been thinking. Maybe you guys can settle some irrational thoughts.

So I have mixed emotions about Brunner and if he's going to stay in the NHL, or at least want to re-sign with Detroit. When he first came here, he was all smiles and happy. He loved the opening night and coming out of the tunnel, he had gotten the full "NHL bright lights" experience. He started off real hot, most likely due to playing during the lockout and having the physical advantage of having his legs under him immediately at the start of the season. Still all smiles. We can all expect when a goal scorer is scoring, they're happy. But when he started to cool down, his demeanor had changed to me. He started being more "depressed" looking. Even in his interviews, he just seemed like he was out of it. I'm not sure if its fatigue, or if he honestly isn't enjoying his experience right now. Could it be that he's facing adversity immediately when he came into the NHL? Adversity not only having the league adjust to him, but coming to a team in the middle of a transition. I watched his face when others scored, even when he was assisting and it just seemed like he wasn't smiling anymore. It was like someone stole that spotlight from him, and he didn't exactly like it? We know that he had been the leading SEL producer for 2 years (IIRC?) before coming over here. He was known as the go-to guy back in the SEL, the superstar. It's different here. He wasn't in the spotlight. Maybe he isn't used to it?

I know this is absolutely irrational and is probably the furthest from the truth, but, I thought it would be fun to bring up. Last night he had seemed like he was just beyond tired during the interviews during the intermission and after the game. So most likely... he's just tired haha.

You're probably right. I think he's just out of his comfort zone right now, going from a swiss league to directly under Babcock and the grind of the NHL. He did start off good but yeah, he's still adjusting imo.

Edited by dropkickshanahans

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You're probably right. I think he's just out of his comfort zone right now, going from a swiss league to directly under Babcock and the grind of the NHL. He did start off good but yeah, he's still adjusting imo.

I think being moved off Z's line hurt his confidence a bit. But now I think he is getting comfortable again and a lot of that has to do with playing with goose. They are lethal together

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