The Detroit Red Wings went back to the European free-agent market this offseason and signed Swiss forward Damien Brunner to a one-year contract. Because of the lockout, Brunner's prospective NHL career has been put on hold. He's currently in the middle of another successful season in Switzerland leading the top Swiss league in scoring through last weekend's action.
He was also on the receiving end of a temper tantrum from a 39-year-old goalie after a scramble around the net on Saturday.
Have a look (video via Ansar Khan).
Things really get interesting around the 16-second mark, when Brunner is down on the ice in the fetal position and the goalie, Ronnie Ruegger, pummels him with his blocker.
Ruegger received a match penalty for his actions. Brunner received five minutes for "unnecessary roughness" (that is apparently a real penalty in Switzerland) and a 20-minute game misconduct.
Brunner has spent the past four seasons playing in the National League A, the top pro league in Switzerland, and has been one of the league's top scorers. This isn't the first time that the Red Wings have attempted to find players like this in Europe. A few years ago, they went after Fabian Brunnstrom before he signed with Dallas (and then eventually signed him before the 2010-11 season after he disappointed with the Stars). They also signed Ville Leino as a free agent out of Finland.
Hopefully for the Wings, Brunner ends up working out better than Leino or Brunnstrom.
In 14 games with EV Zug this season, Brunner has nine goals and 14 assists. He has been playing on a line with one of his future Detroit teammates, Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg has five goals and three assists in his first four games with Zug.