Brunner, who only has one NHL season under his belt, last year with the Red Wings, was unable to find a dance partner this summer for a new contract. At one point it looked like he might head back to his native Switzerland while he waited. That was until the Devils gave him a tryout and brought him into camp. A week later and they sign him to a contract.
"I'm really excited about being a Devil and sticking around," Brunner said.
Brunner's agency released the contract details, saying it's for two seasons and $5 million, or $2.5 million per season.
It's interesting for a player who came in on a PTO, not only did they sign him but it was for a long-term deal. That shows they must have really loved what he's done in camp for them.
It's not hard to see why. Brunner was good, not great but good, in his first NHL season last year. His lack of suitors this summer was a surprise given the fact that he had 26 points in 44 games last season. Not like he was going to receive a mega deal or anything, but surely he had to fit in somewhere.
For New Jersey it's another step in trying to up the offense and help cover for the departed Ilya Kovalchuk. This summer they have brought in Jaromir Jagr, Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder to try and get to that end. While none of those guys are in Kovalchuk's class at this stage, together they're an interesting group to complement the Devils' previous corps. Will they be a dangerous team as a result? I don't believe so, but signing a player like Brunner won't hurt.