Bruno owns the top memory in the Wild's short history. That goal, the last ever scored against Patrick Roy, made everyone in Minnesota feel as though the Wild had a chance to win the Cup. Never before, and never since, have the Wild made a run even close to that magical year.
Then, HWSRN made the mistake of a lifetime and decided the Wild needed "to be faster." Sure, Brunette isn't going to win the NHL's fastest skater contest, but I defy you to find someone who can take the puck off his stick behind the net or in the corner. The garbage goal is his hallmark, and watching him score them was like watching Picaso paint.
It will be a sad day in Saint Paul when Bruno signs somewhere else this summer.
|2010 - Andrew Brunette||82||18||28||46||-7||16||8||0||3||117|
JS- GRADE: C+ Don't get me wrong, I love Bruno, but I believe his time has passed. He was third in team scoring, but finished with 15 points lower than last year. He didn't even break the 20 goal barrier and has shown that he needed to play with Koivu to produce. Again, I love him, he's one of my all-time favorite players, as he is for many a Minnesotan, but if he re-signs, he may need to take a more limited role and a lesser contract, so that we can go fresh on the first line. Not much as changed in his game though, he's still his old invincible self along the boards, but for some reason, he just wasn't able to keep up on a lot of nights, but not for lack of effort. Perhaps his age is finally catching up with him. 46 points just isn't enough for a first-liner.
Elise- GRADE: B Bruno's getting older and slower and it showed at times this season. But I still think he plays a valuable role with this team on and off the ice.
Dan- GRADE: B Brunette has had an off year, after years of putting up 50+ points for the last 5 seasons. He is getting older but I guess the fact that the Wild are struggling to find offense doesn't help a guy who's game primarily setting up goals behind the net. Nevertheless, even at age 37 and on a decent contract, he has done what he could.
Bryan- GRADE: B- Brunette may be a rare A player on a roster of mediocrity, but that mediocrity drags his grade down. The Wild still have yet to figure out the proper way to use the guy, and fans seem to still expect more from him than he can give. His productivity plummeted without Koivu, but he wasn't exactly given a suitable replacement, either. Bruno needs someone with smarts on his line, someone who knows how to get where they need to be, or someone to set up the garbage goal. Without Koivu, Bruno had nothing to work with. The guy is made of pure heart, and is the only pending UFA I would really like to see back without a question.
Nathan- GRADE: B+ The only reason Bruno's grade isn't higher is because he can't finish the way he used to. He creates scoring chances, is impossible to push off the puck, and in a year where he played his 1000th game, proves that he is still an ironman. The guy simply doesn't quit. That said, he should never have been on the first line, and if you look at his numbers as a first line wing, he's a D level performer.
Cumulative GPA: 2.825 B-
Bruno is the lone pending UFA that Wild fans are likely sorry to see go. Everyone who has ever watched the guy play wants nothing but the best for him. There in lies the rub. He deserves a Stanley Cup, but he is never going to be around long enough to win one in Minnesota. He needs to head out on the market, and sign a reasonable deal with a contender out east.
Why out east? Does anyone really want to see him do this against the Wild?