The Red Wings began retooling their roster today, as it has been announced that the organization has reached an agreement with Damien Brunner.
Damien Brunner, an undrafted free agent from Switzerland who has been a highly sought after commodity. There are reportedly six teams, including Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, that are also interested in Brunner.
Brunner told Swiss media he has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Wings. He also said there is an out-clause with his current team, Zug, to which he's contractually obligated for one more season. He can't sign with any NHL team until July 1 because of his current Swiss contract.
At 26 years old, Brunner is listed at 5'11", 180 pounds. A right-shooting RW, Brunner's best qualities are his speed—which reminds some of Darren Helm—and his finishing ability. Brunner led the Swiss-A with 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists) in 45 games last year, but his play at the World Championships is what earned him an opportunity in Detroit.
"(Coach) Mike Babcock and I watched him at the World Championships and we liked what we saw," Holland said Friday from the NHL Entry Draft.
There is no transfer agreement in place with the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation and the NHL, so there may be a waiting period before the terms of the agreement can be finalized.
Should all of the particulars get worked out as expected, Brunner will challenge for a roster spot in Detroit from day one. He will likely compete against Corey Emmerton, Jan Mursak and Tomas Tatar for one of the last forward spots in training camp this fall.
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