: Post Game Talk:
10-13-1. "A bunch of donkeys on skates"
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02-12-2013, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Signing free agents out of Europe or the NCAA is always a crap shoot. Teams are limited with 23 roster spots and 50 contracts. Every contract offered is one less that can go towards NHL free agents or prospects in your system. Philadelphia was able to get Matt Read because Holmgren had plenty of free contract slots because he traded away so many picks. Keep in mind that Philly now has contract slots assigned to Harry Zolnierczyk, Jason Akeson, Ben Holmtrom, and Blake Kessel in addition to Read. It took a lot of free agent signings to find one that would pan out as a productive NHL regular. For every Brunner, Read, Conacher, or Fasth there's multiple Casey Wellmans, Jarod Palmers, Cam Talbots, and Paul Thompsons. Even among the highly touted guys, this holds true. Miele couldn't crack Phoenix's forward starved roster. Da Costa has only been a depth filler for Ottawa so far.
Additionally, Brunner played on a line with Zetterberg in Switzerland before he ever stepped onto NHL ice. He had time to develop chemistry with a future line mate in Detroit. This has certainly smoothed his transition into the NHL, and is an advantage we could not have offered him.
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