May 24, 2012, 11:45 AM EDT
According to Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times, the Lightning have emerged as a frontrunner for the services of Swiss star Damien Brunner.
“I would say Tampa is serious about Damien. I would say Damien is serious about Tampa,” said Brunner’s agent, Neil Sheehy. “I know Damien was very, very impressed with Steve Yzerman. They have met and there’s interest on both sides.”
Brunner, 26, has spent the last four years with Zug of the Swiss-A League, scoring an eye-popping 190 points in his last 168 regular season games. At the recently-completed World Hockey Championships, he led the Swiss team in scoring and was named one of Switzerland’s best players of the tournament as selected by coaches (along with Islanders defenseman Mark Streit.)
Described as a “highly-skilled, fleet-skating” winger, Brunner has been released from his contract with Zug and is therefore eligible to sign with any NHL club. It’s believed the Pittsburgh Penguins are also interested in his services.
Yzerman’s interest in Brunner isn’t surprising. He’s been busy scouting the European prospects (and the WHC) and, last week, told the Tampa Tribune he’s interested in bringing Finnish netminder Riku Helenius back to North America. Helenius, a former first-round pick of the Lightning, has spent the last three years playing overseas.
Sheehy said that Brunner will likely sign with an NHL club prior to the draft.
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal 15
- Mike Yeo is pretty unhappy with Minnesota’s goalie situation 13
- Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center 1
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands 54
- Advantage Kuemper? Harding on crutches after ankle injury 15
- Done deal, finally: Wings ink DeKeyser to two-year, $4.375M extension 11
- Update: NHL wants to see fine system in action before publicizing diving 5
- Get your odds to make the playoffs for all 30 NHL teams 18
- Blue Jackets GM to Johansen: It’s about the team, not ‘one guy’ 25
- Will the NHL publicize divers? 48
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (54)
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (54)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)
- Boychuk doesn’t want to be traded, but has no control over the matter (39)