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Coyotes suspend Brule after he refused to report to AHL

Dec 30, 2013, 6:12 PM EDT

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The Phoenix Coyotes organization suspended Gilbert Brule after he refused to report the AHL’s Portland Pirates on Sunday, the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan reports.

Brule, 26, finds himself in an awkward position bouncing between the AHL and NHL. He’s been productive in Portland (12 points in 11 games) but hasn’t been able to find his game with the Coyotes this season, failing to score a point in three games.

Jaime Eisner of Coyotes blog Five for Howling points out that Brule nearly signed with the KHL weeks ago before hashing things out with Phoenix and wonders if Brule’s days with both the Coyotes organization and the NHL are over. (At least for the near future.)

However things shake out, this isn’t the path Brule probably envisioned for his hockey career. The Columbus Blue Jackets selected him sixth overall in the 2005 NHL Draft; at the moment, it seems like he may join Nikita Filatov and Nik Zherdev as Columbus first-rounders who struggled to find their place in North America.

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