2008 Final Grade: Andrew Brunette

2008 Final Grade: B

2007 Grade: A-

Links:

{{brunette}} (hockey-reference page)

2007 report

2008 ITCS (aka highly unofficial) game log

Season Stats: 82gp 19g 40a 59pt +5

Minutes: 1274.6 (3rd), EV 12:24, PP 3:08, PK :01, ATOI 15:33

1st Half: 41gp 6g 21a 27pt -2

2nd Half: 41gp 13g 19a 32pt +7

Playoffs: 10gp 5g 3a 8pt -5

Best Month: March (15gp 6g 10a 16pt +3)

Positions: RW (46), LW (36)

Lines: 1st (37), 2nd (33), 3rd (7), 4th (5)

Linemates:

LW: Wolski (30), Hlinka (6), Richardson (4), Laperriere (3), Smyth (2), Smith (1)

C: Hlinka (19), Sakic (31), Stastny (13), Arnason (8), Hensick (7), Richardson (3), Wolski (1)

RW: Hejduk (17), Jones (9), Svatos (9)

Season: Brunette's 19 goals and 59 points were his lowest season totals in three years with the Avalanche.

Report: I know many people felt Bruno's 83-point season in 2006-07 was probably going to be his career best, and indeed he dropped back to earth last year. Not that it was a bad season - in fact, his 19/40/59 numbers are ridiculously close to his career average (20/37/57). Brunette struggled a bit in the first half, but led all Avs in scoring in the 2nd half (and was second to his favorite partner Joe Sakic in the playoffs). Obviously, any evaluation of Bruno has to mention that he doesn't have blazing speed. But he's such a smart player that you don't notice this as much on the ice. We've seen him beat faster players by reacting quicker or taking a better angle to the puck. His real talent, of course, is his ability to work behind the net. He's got great hands and vision and it's difficult to knock his 212 lb frame off of the puck - he doesn't dish many hits, but he deflects most checks easily. He also is underrated for his work in front of the net. He's not exactly a Selke candidate, but I thought his defense improved a bit this year.

Fast Fact: Brunette and Joe Sakic combined for 35 even strength points in their 31 games together.

2007-2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $1,600,000 ($1,600,000)

2008-2009 Status: UFA

Outlook: Adrian Dater has speculated that Brunette will not be returning to the Avalanche. I'm on the fence, personally. On one hand, I think it would be just swell to upgrade the team speed. On the other, Brunette has been a solid player, especially when paired with Joe Sakic. In fact, Sakic is the only Av with more points than Brunette since Bruno joined the team (227-205). The Avs paid Brunette an average under $1,100,000 per season for those 205 points which has to be one of the biggest steals of the salary cap era. Robert Lang has scored 168 points in the last 3 years, and he made $4 million this year. Andy McDonald has 215, and he just made $3.3 million. Jason Blake? $4 million for 178. Brian Gionta? $4 million for 187. I don't know that Bruno will get the $4 million that he probably deserves, but he's should easily land above $3 million. I suspect that even if the rumors that Brunette isn't happy and wants to move elsewhere are unfounded, it's probably not going to matter; I think Francois Giguere has other plans for that $3 million.

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