27-year-old forward Damien Brunner loved his rookie season with the Detroit Red Wings and doesn’t want to leave anytime soon. He’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5, but he would like to ink a multi-year deal, based on a Detroit Free Press report.
“We’ve had discussions,” Brunner’s agent, Neil Sheehy said. “We’re scheduled to talk again in New Jersey this weekend.”
Determining fair value for Brunner might be tricky given that he only has the lockout shortened season and a single playoff run under his belt as far as NHL experience goes.
On top of that, he was particularly streaky. He had 16 points in his first 19 games before going through a patch of just two goals in 25 contests. He bounced back and tied for third on the Red Wings in playoff scoring.
“Those are always issues,” Sheehy said. “If you have a long track record, it makes it easier. Nonetheless, he’s a good player. We’ll see where talks go.”
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.
In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.
The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.
At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.
As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.
The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.
All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.