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Agent: Tampa Bay Lightning "a serious contender" for Swiss star Damien Brunner

The Lightning is a “serious contender” for the services of Damien Brunner, the Swiss star’s agent said Wednesday night.

“I would say Tampa is serious about Damien. I would say Damien is serious about Tampa,” Neil Sheehy said.

That Brunner, 26, a highly skilled, fleet-skating right wing, has been released from his contract with Zug of the Switzerland’s elite league -- meaning he can sign with any NHL team -- should accelerate negotiations.

Brunner likely will sign before the June 22-23 NHL draft, Sheehy said, adding “several” teams are interested. The Penguins have been reported to be keeping an eye on Brunner.

“We have a lot of work to do between now and his decision,” Sheehy said. “But I know Damien was very, very impressed with (Tampa Bay general manager) Steve Yzerman. … They have met and there’s interest on both sides.”

Yzerman did not respond to several text messages.

Brunner, 5 feet 11, 187 pounds, had team bests last season of 24 goals, 36 assists and 60 points in 45 games. He also had three goals, seven points in seven games for Switzerland at the world championship.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 10:09pm]


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