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Stars sign Brunnstrom (1 year, $675,000), avoid arbitration

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Old
07-23-2010, 01:41 PM
  #51
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Move Brunnstrom up to 3rd line Center and move Benn over to his LW... Set up man and a finisher.

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07-23-2010, 01:56 PM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glovesave_35 View Post
While those two players often have the same deer in headlights look on their faces, I wouldn't say that either lack hockey sense. With both of them it's all about confidence. When they have it they each look like entirely different hockey players.
Exactly. I think hockey sense is being confused with confidence here. Niskanen and Brunnstrom have both displayed good hockey sense during their careers. They both sucked something awful last year, but that doesn't erase the abilities they've show before.

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07-23-2010, 01:58 PM
  #53
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Brenden Morrow is more of a sniper than a playmaker, but he's really neither. To try to force him into a defined role he doesn't fit wouldn't be right, so why do it with Brunnstrom?

If you've got Brunnstrom as the primary playmaker on any line, that line might as well sit out the game because it will turn the puck over every single time on the ice, kind of like Brunnstrom actually. Brunnstrom is not a playmaker at this level. He can't think the game fast enough, and it shows. That, among other things for a rather generic term, is hockey sense, and he shows very, very little of it.

Why did Brunnstrom play such paltry minutes? Piqued blames, in part, coaching. It's the easy blame and the one used around here far too often once Crawford took over, but is it accurate?

Brunnstrom was given a spot with Ribeiro and Morrow to start camp last year. He didn't do well to start camp, but still held the spot until Benn took it from him. Did he hold that spot after struggling because Benn wasn't doing well at the time, or was Brunnstrom given the benefit of the doubt? It was the latter. He got beat out by Neal for a spot with Richards and Eriksson. He got beat out by Ott for a spot on the third line. The only place left for him was on the fourth line, with or without pluggers, where everyone here knows he fits like a square peg. But where else were you going to play a guy who was, at best, the fourth ranked left winger on the team? Move him to center and he's sixth on the team, further down depending on how you classify Burish and Sutherby.

Brunnstrom played those few minutes, on that low of a line and was scratched that often because he didn't prove he deserved anything better. His linemates were suited to where he sat on the overall depth chart. He was handed a chance most hockey players are not and he couldn't hold onto it. That's not the fault of anyone but Fabian Brunnstrom.

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07-23-2010, 02:01 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by txomisc View Post
Exactly. I think hockey sense is being confused with confidence here.
No it's not. No amount of confidence is going to erase the complete lost look both of those players have more often than not. Maybe if they had greater confidence they'd look better being lost, but they'd still be lost.

There are times when I think Niskanen is trying to find a contact lens on the ice while the play is all around him.

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07-23-2010, 02:21 PM
  #55
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Any player who makes it to the NHL level has some sort of hockey sense. The question is whether they have enough to compete with equally or more talented players on the other side and whether they can make adjustments once other teams learn their strengths and weaknesses.

Neither Niskanen nor Brunnstrom have shown the ability to make that adjustment. They are constantly forced to play to their weaknesses by the opponents, whether that's forcing Brunnstrom to the outside or putting more pressure when he has the puck.

That leads to the lack of confidence, which just emphasizes the problems already there. But the problems with the lack of confidence stem from repeated failure to execute.

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07-23-2010, 03:09 PM
  #56
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I like. Nice job Joe, and Fabian. He knows he has something to prove. Let's hope for a better season for him so he becomes somewhat of a commodity again.

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07-23-2010, 03:24 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Kritter471 View Post
Any player who makes it to the NHL level has some sort of hockey sense.
Any player who makes the NHL has a certain amount of skill, enforcers included. I'm not sure who would argue in the negative of that notion. But it's all relative.

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07-23-2010, 03:44 PM
  #58
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Does this put more pressure on Neal to agree to terms with Nieuwendyk, knowing that Brunnstrom's itching to move into the top 6?

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07-23-2010, 04:06 PM
  #59
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Brunnstrom played those few minutes, on that low of a line and was scratched that often because he didn't prove he deserved anything better.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by Chad_ View Post
His linemates were suited to where he sat on the overall depth chart.
Again, agreed. But, that isn't to say that those linemates best suited his skills. They clearly did not. Nor did his skills mesh with the role of his linemates, guys who are very comfortable with the crash and bang role of the 4th line.

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He was handed a chance most hockey players are not and he couldn't hold onto it.
I'm not saying I think he should have stayed on the Ribs-Morrow line over Benn, because clearly Benn beat him out in training camp for the spot. But being given an opportunity to produce with more offensively gifted players was not something Brunnstrom was handed. He earned his shot on that line with a pretty impressive rookie season.

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That's not the fault of anyone but Fabian Brunnstrom.
I don't see this as being about fault or blame. It's about trying to figure out a way to best use an asset. Right now the team has a very cheap player who, if he takes a few mental steps in the right direction, may prove to be an integral part of the top 9 (if they decide to go with three 'scoring lines'). I have a hard time saying the guy is a bust of a player when he was signed as a LW, yet he has rarely been played in that position.

Because of the glut of natural left wingers on the roster and the varying nature of their styles, I'm going to continue to say that Morrow needs to be a guy who can bring his game to the RW position. There is nothing about his style that says he must play LW to be effective. Furthermore, if it meant that Brunnstrom could play on the left side of Ribeiro it could lead to that line as a whole sinking or swimming.

**Even if the team has no real desire to keep Brunnstrom long term, or even if they do, it is in the best interest of the organization to show that Brunnstrom is a legitimate NHL player. Worst case scenario, he plays and fails at proving this. Best case, he proves to be a very effective scorer who the team may wish to keep around for a while. Somewhere in the middle is the option of him being an extremely cheap and cost-controlled trade option for a team in contention down the stretch looking for some offensive juice (provided of course that he shows he has this).

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07-23-2010, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Modo View Post
Does this put more pressure on Neal to agree to terms with Nieuwendyk, knowing that Brunnstrom's itching to move into the top 6?
I doubt Neal's camp is worried about it. I'd bet Nieuwendyk is thinking along those lines though.

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07-23-2010, 04:33 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by glovesave_35 View Post
I'm not saying I think he should have stayed on the Ribs-Morrow line over Benn, because clearly Benn beat him out in training camp for the spot. But being given an opportunity to produce with more offensively gifted players was not something Brunnstrom was handed. He earned his shot on that line with a pretty impressive rookie season.
At first, perhaps, but he struggled big time in training camp from start to finish and was given chance after chance to secure a spot on that line. He couldn't and was beat out by Benn eventually, maybe when it because evident Brunnstrom couldn't compete, but he was handed much more line to hang himself than most players in their second year are.

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07-23-2010, 05:12 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Chad_ View Post
At first, perhaps, but he struggled big time in training camp from start to finish and was given chance after chance to secure a spot on that line. He couldn't and was beat out by Benn eventually, maybe when it because evident Brunnstrom couldn't compete, but he was handed much more line to hang himself than most players in their second year are.
True enough. I guess it all goes back to his having been courted and the unique way he was brought into the league.

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07-23-2010, 05:39 PM
  #63
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I still think Brunny has tons of skill. He could be a top six forward. Or a 3rd line/power play scorer (maybe even a better role with the right linemates). He plays a very aggressive offensive game when given the opportunity. He pushes play.

Crawford was yapping his ear off on the bench regularly at the end of last year.

I actually am very optimistic about his chances of breaking out if he can get some ice time this year. Here's hoping for a good camp to get that started. A motivated and eventually confident Brunnstrom sounds great.

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07-23-2010, 05:41 PM
  #64
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No it's not. No amount of confidence is going to erase the complete lost look both of those players have more often than not. Maybe if they had greater confidence they'd look better being lost, but they'd still be lost.

There are times when I think Niskanen is trying to find a contact lens on the ice while the play is all around him.
Ok then how do you explain the fact that Niskanen didnt have that look in his rookie season or for the last half of his sophomore season? Did he suddenly lose his hockey sense? How do you explain that Brunnstrom looked confident and smart offensively as a rookie?

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07-23-2010, 05:50 PM
  #65
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Ok then how do you explain the fact that Niskanen didnt have that look in his rookie season or for the last half of his sophomore season? Did he suddenly lose his hockey sense? How do you explain that Brunnstrom looked confident and smart offensively as a rookie?
Niskanen did have "that look" his rookie year, it was just masked over with Zubov next to him, and he's developed it more as time has gone on. He's been looking for that contact lens for three years.

Brunnstrom has never looked "confident and smart offensively" for more than a few shifts. Some of those shifts have been good, but overall he hasn't been. He hasn't learned to think the game as quick as the NHL pace is, be it the difference between a smaller rink or different styles of hockey (Euro versus N.A.).

In my opinion, neither player has the mental makeup to play well at this level. It sucks when a player has the skill to compete but cannot do so at this level, but neither have shown they are consistently capable of doing so.

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07-23-2010, 06:08 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Chad_ View Post
Niskanen did have "that look" his rookie year, it was just masked over with Zubov next to him, and he's developed it more as time has gone on. He's been looking for that contact lens for three years.

Brunnstrom has never looked "confident and smart offensively" for more than a few shifts. Some of those shifts have been good, but overall he hasn't been. He hasn't learned to think the game as quick as the NHL pace is, be it the difference between a smaller rink or different styles of hockey (Euro versus N.A.).

In my opinion, neither player has the mental makeup to play well at this level. It sucks when a player has the skill to compete but cannot do so at this level, but neither have shown they are consistently capable of doing so.
So Niskanen's hockey sense has actually gotten worse over his career? Doesn't that seem a little far fetched?

Brunnstrom most certainly looked smart and confident offensively for much of his first season. Many of his goals were as a result of knowing where he had to be and being there at the right times. Thats good offensive instinct.

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07-23-2010, 06:21 PM
  #67
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Watching a few highlights (I know, bad sample)from his rookie season and most of his chances come from finding a nice soft spot in the ice to shoot from. Seems like a bit of hockey sense is there. Maybe he's being over coached? (again, I know, excuses, excuses)

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07-23-2010, 06:31 PM
  #68
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Stolen from the main board....

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Edit: Seriously, this guy reminds me of Tlusty. A lot of us fans were convinced that he would become this great player if we GAVE him an opportunity. As in prioritizing the development of one player over the general makeup of the team. The best players earn their opportunities. When we start talking about handing an opportunity over to a player it's because he hasn't taken advantage of the ones he has experienced, despite the potential. The best players are on the team without question. They MAKE their opportunities.

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07-23-2010, 06:43 PM
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This contract stinks of a player that doesn't have much faith in his own ability... I mean the only way he actually could have made it to the AHL this year was to be so bad that no NHL team would want to take a chance on him. He had so little faith in himself that he too $150k less than his QO. I'm all for players making smart financial decisions and looking out for their own best interest, but that's pathetic.

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07-23-2010, 08:06 PM
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad_ View Post
Niskanen did have "that look" his rookie year, it was just masked over with Zubov next to him, and he's developed it more as time has gone on. He's been looking for that contact lens for three years.
So, how does that explain how he improved offensively in year two with Sydor as his defense partner? 1.17 Points per 60 minutes of Even Strength Ice Time tied for 12th best in the NHL vs 0.79 in his first season.

There's no doubt he has struggled but people who say oh he only looked good with Zubov are wrong. He was solid with Norstrom and then improved offensively with Sydor as his defense partner, even though Sydor sucked.

Last year he was okay in the stretch with Fistric, but was awful with Skrastins, which it makes sense, Skrastins or Niskanen can't move any one out in front of the net and they get out muscled in any puck battles.
If Skrastins and Niskanen play together again next season it's going to be a huge mistake. Of the Stars current defenseman Fistric or Grossman are the best options to play with him. I'd even say Lukowich is a better option then Skrastins to play with Niskanen.

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07-23-2010, 09:10 PM
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Niskanen has never looked good in his own end, and many of his points are the results of others (either his partner or the forward lines he was on the ice with). Those problems were there as a rookie but masked by playing with Zubov. They were absolutely more evident with Sydor and degenerated even more last season as more and more teams focus on exploiting his weaknesses.

He didn't improve on the ice as a sophomore. He got more points but really regressed as a player.

I know he's your boy, but use your eyes, J, and hold him accountable for his own suck.

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07-23-2010, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kritter471 View Post
many of his points are the results of others (either his partner or the forward lines he was on the ice with).
The same thing can be said for the majority of the players it's not like every point was a secondary assist and in some cases the secondary assist is key, if it's moving the puck out of the zone, without it the team wouldn't score.


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He didn't improve on the ice as a sophomore. He got more points but really regressed as a player.
Putting up more points, in a lesser role, whether it was because of him or not is a improvement in one area of the game.

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I know he's your boy, but use your eyes, J, and hold him accountable for his own suck.
I said he struggled, how is that not saying he's accountable?

Either way, Skrastins and Niskanen are not a good fit both will struggle if they're playing together again next season.

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07-23-2010, 09:37 PM
  #73
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Originally Posted by Kritter471 View Post
Niskanen has never looked good in his own end, and many of his points are the results of others (either his partner or the forward lines he was on the ice with). Those problems were there as a rookie but masked by playing with Zubov. They were absolutely more evident with Sydor and degenerated even more last season as more and more teams focus on exploiting his weaknesses.

He didn't improve on the ice as a sophomore. He got more points but really regressed as a player.

I know he's your boy, but use your eyes, J, and hold him accountable for his own suck.
Shockingly, Kritter is wrong ;-) Niskanen sucked big time for the first half of his 2nd season, but really turned it on down the stretch and was very very good during that time. He racked up alot of points and played a confident game. That is the reason one should have been optimistic about his 3rd season. Unfortunately he sucked during the entire year. Zubov did not mask any problems. Need we be reminded that for years we couldn't find a defenseman who could play well with Zubov and then Niskanen came onto the scene and did an amazing job? Way too many people want to give too much credit to anyone but Niskanen for his very good rookie season...and yet his crappy d-partners since don't get any of the blame for his struggles.

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07-23-2010, 10:57 PM
  #74
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So Niskanen's hockey sense has actually gotten worse over his career? Doesn't that seem a little far fetched?
That's not what I wrote.

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07-23-2010, 10:59 PM
  #75
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So, how does that explain how he improved offensively in year two with Sydor as his defense partner?
Oh, so offense is the only thing we should be concerned about? What does that do to address his defensive awesomeness?

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There's no doubt he has struggled but people who say oh he only looked good with Zubov are wrong.
Then I guess it's a good thing that's not what I wrote.

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