Damien Brunner is among the best Swiss talents of this century. No ifs, no buts.
He made his NLA debut back during the 2006-07 season with Kloten… but the real turn around happened during the 2008-09 season.
During that season in fact, Damien played 12 games with Kloten and 3 with Thurgau in the NLB and then trasferred to Zug where he started to shine and put an impressive ability to score regularly on display. We mean, he’s what a real sniper is all about!
The “second” turn around of his career then happened during the 2011-12 season, during which Damien Brunner scored 54 points in 48 games (playoffs included). His performances earned him the interest from a couple of NHL teams… but a transfer overseas had to wait.
Right, because the following season – 2012-13 – was the one of the NHL Lockout. Henrik Zetterberg came in Zug and Damien shined alongside the Swedish star! Once the lockout was over, Damien waved goodbye to Switzerland and followed his Swedish teammate to Detroit where he played for the Red Wings.
Damien Brunner collected 135 NHL appearances and scored 67 points over the arc of three seasons. Especially the first half-season with the Detroit Red Wings was terrific! Then instead, the next season and a half spent playing for the New Jersey Devils was good but not exceptional.
During the 2014-15 season then, Lugano got their fans a really nice present and brought Damien Brunner in Ticino around Christmas!
In Lugano, Damien always proved that he has got talent. However, unfortunately for him, he went through some sort of ordeal in terms of injuries… injuries that, moreover, were not due to a lack of physical condition. Actually in Lugano, had been terribly unlucky!
Only during the 2015-16 season injuries gave this poor guy a break… and during that season, Damien scored 48 points in 50 games, playoffs included!
Having said that, we’re pretty sure that Brunner is really sorry that Lugano’s fans could see only glimpses of what the real Brunner is really about.
There were those saying that we had already seen all the best of him in the past. There were those saying that the only problem – apart from injuries – had been the way Ireland played him. There were then also those joking about the fact that he would have spent the rest of his career under the shadow of the palms near Lugano’s lake.
At the end of last season then – yet another unlucky one… – the Bianconeri and Damien Brunner decided by mutual agreement to part ways… Damien at that point, accepted the transfer offer of Bienne.
In Bienne, there were those who turned their nose up at this transfer… also a dear friend of mine, had doubts about this transfer 🙂
People thought that Brunner could be a source of nuisance to the team. People thought that anyway, they would never see the real Damien Brunner again.
Frankly speaking, many people had doubts. The problem was certainly not the player’s skills… we mean, Damien’s skills are undoubted. Rather, the problem was that it was not clear why Bienne had signed him. We mean, it was an unnecessary “luxury”. Moreover, it was difficult to find him the right spot within the team.
And instead, Antti Törmänen found for him the perfect place in the system and the right teammates. All this, firstly allowed Damien to smile again… and then to become a scoring machine again!
To date this season, he made it 28 times into the scoresheet in 31 games including 15 goals (he hasn’t scored this much in the NLA since the 2012-13 lockout season when he was lined-up with Henrik Zetterberg!).
Most and above all though… he became a crucial and decisive player again! Antti Törmänen counts a lot on what Damien brings in.
Without forgetting that Damien Brunner brings to the Seeland – in a club that is doing a terrific job on and off the ice – something that you can’t buy at the market… that is, winning mindset!
We mean, finally, also that dear friend of mine in Bienne has changed his mind about Damien 😉
Our blog is personal, therefore we express personal opinions. Like them or not… therefore, we really want to stress that we’re so pleased to finally see Damien Brunner smile after dark periods again!
It’s not about which team you support… a real ice hockey passionate can do nothing but rejoice for the rebirth of Damien Brunner.
Then again, in Lugano – but it’s easy to say it with hindsight… – there are those who are eating their heart out. Also in light of the – mocking – hat-trick that Damien scored against his former club not long ago…
Yet, for Swiss Ice Hockey, the rebirth of Damien Brunner is a great news! And it’s a great news also for the Seeländers… ça va sans dire 😉