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Devils sign Brunner: two years, $5 million

Sep 24, 2013, 1:55 PM EST

Damien Brunner AP

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just one week after joining the Devils on a professional try out, Damien Brunner has inked a multi-year extension with New Jersey, the club announced on Tuesday.

UPDATE

According to Brunner’s agent, Neil Sheehy, it’s a two-year pact worth $5 million, carrying an average annual cap hit of $2.5 million.

“I’m really excited about being a Devil and sticking around,” Brunner told the team website. “I believed that I could come over [from Switzerland], prove myself and get a contract.

“That’s what happened and I’m really happy about it.”

Brunner, 27, spent last season in Detroit — his first in the NHL — and finished third on the Red Wings in goals (12) and fifth in points (26).

Despite that successful campaign, the Swiss forward couldn’t secure a new deal from the Wings and went without a contract for much of the summer.

There had been reports he was contemplating a return to Switzerland’s National League A — he spent the 2011-12 season with Zug, led the league in scoring and was named forward of the year — but in mid-August, his agent (Neil Sheehy) said Brunner would play in the NHL this season.

On Sept. 16, New Jersey brought Brunner to camp on a PTO and he’s proceeded to look good in game action, notching two assists in Satruday’s 3-0 exhbition win over the Islanders.

The new multi-year deal makes sense on a variety of fronts. The Devils are in need of scoring up front after finishing 28th in the NHL in goals per game (2.29) last season. What’s more, the club had nearly $4 million in available cap space following Ilya Kovalchuk’s shock retirement with 14 years and $77 million left on his contract.

One question that still needs to be answered: What will the Devils do with 16 forwards now under contract?

  1. ibieiniid - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    anything more than two years is more than the GM version of me would give this guy.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      came off wrong. I’m actually really high on Brunner’s future. I’m sure you get what I meant though by not giving him a long contract.

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        Hah. I should have refreshed the page before commenting on your original post.

    • davebabychreturns - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM

      Depends on the money, though. If he’s making less than $2m (pretty much the average NHL salary at this point) then a medium term deal of three or four years doesn’t carry much risk at all.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        I just really hate the sample size we have to look at. I personally wouldn’t be able to justify giving the guy 6-8 million dollars based on what he did in 40-some games (even though he excelled). But that’s probably why I’m an engineer, not a GM.

        I haven’t seen word on the dollar figure yet, but I’m actually willing to bet he got a bit less than 2mil. He gambled by testing the market for that long. I bet he loses a bit of dough just from losing that gamble. If they got him for under 2mil for 3 years, I could see how that would be justified.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        lol the contrast between my thoughts in the first paragraph and the second clearly illustrate how torn I am on a multi-year for Brunner. didn’t notice til i reread it.

      • davebabychreturns - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        Haha. And now none of it makes any sense because they’ve updated the article with the details of the contract!

        Yeah I agree. It’s a gamble on players like that and you want to minimize your risk. That being said as I was saying $2m is right around average salary these days so if you think the guy you’re getting will be an average third liner at worst, that’s not much risk at all.

      • ibieiniid - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        lol yep, we’re sure to get a few thumbs down from guys like “why are they talking $ level and length. says it in the headline.”

  2. 950003cups - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Detroit balked on him, and not one other team cared for him. I’ve only seen him play 2 preseason games. Although he looked good, we also have to remember that he was unemployed looking to impress and didn’t exactly light things up. I hope he plays just as good now that he has a contract.

    • polegojim - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Detroit didn’t balk… Detroit refused to overpay him. They did exactly the right thing.

      Not one saavy GM in the league would offer him his ridiculous asking terms.

      He thought he could ‘intimidate’ Ken Holland by holding out for a long term big dollar deal… and ended up signing the same deal in Jersey that he rejected in Detroit.

      Good for the Devils… and a lesson for Brunner.

      Now… will he put up the numbers he seems capable of… or look like a healthy scratch???

      He successfully did BOTH during the same season in Detroit last year.

  3. 950003cups - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Give him #15 so all the Langenbrunner jerseys just have to cut off “LANGEN” and keep “BRUNNER”

    • ibieiniid - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      this comment led to my discovery that it’s impossible to google the Devils jersey history. there’s no way to find that. just returns (New) Jersey Devils history.

      • skuba7 - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        Im sure there are lists out there, for each team. Maybe hockeydb or nhl.com

      • freneticgarfieldfan - Sep 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        http://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/NJD/numbers.html

      • ibieiniid - Sep 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        lol thanks guys

  4. rjkilla - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Devils are gonna roll 4 solid lines night in and night out. Playoffs here we come

    • nj666 - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      I hope, I just dont want to make any playoff predictions yet. Quite frankly I’d rather them continue to stay as underdogs.

  5. skuba7 - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Besides Barch, what other contracts will get moved (by either trade or demotion)?

    • devilsarethebest - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Janssen, Gionta and on Defense, Fayne and Volchenkov.

      • skuba7 - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:54 PM

        Janssen’s contract is already in the Minors, not one of the 16.
        Shuffling the Defenseman wouldn’t relieve the problem the Devils have with 15+ forwards. Not to mention the young guys needing to clear waivers to be sent back down once they are up.

      • nj666 - Sep 24, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        Getting rid of fayne is one of the dumbest things to do. Yeah getting rid of one of the top three dmen to make room for a forward really makes sense.

      • nj666 - Sep 24, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        the forwards most likely on their way out or down are easily gionta and carter.

      • devilsarethebest - Sep 24, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        Fayne was a healthy scratch a huge portion of the time last year, not top 3

      • nj666 - Sep 24, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        Yeah he was top 3, despite his mistreatment from deboer, he has been one of the best defensemen recently.. who do you suppose is better, that traffic cone on skates known as salvador? zidlicky who couldnt hold the blue line on a power play if his job depended on it? or maybe one of these unproven rookies who have had a couple of good pre-season games. Like it or not the best Defensemen on the devils are Greene Larsson and Fayne.

  6. porkchopexpress1969 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Same deal the Wings offered. He should of fired his agent. Good luck to him, he is a good offensive threat. But extremely bad a defense. Still would of liked him in D

  7. isphet71 - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Nothing but love for Brunner from a Wings fan. Good dude, hope he does really well when playing everyone but the Wings.

  8. xjokerz - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The wings are trash. Bring in old man alfredson and resign cleary… Smh

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