Blackhawks breakdown: Andrew Brunette

Blackhawks breakdown: Andrew Brunette
May 17, 2012, 3:47 am
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CSNChicago.com Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers and PGLhost Chris Boden will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on theHawks roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.In his 16th NHL season, Andrew Brunette played in 78games and averaged 13 minutes and 33 seconds per game. He scored 12 goals (fouron the power play) with 15 assists (three on the power play) for 27 points andfinished minus-13. He was credited with 21 hits and four penalty minutes. Inthe series vs. Phoenix, Brunette scored one goal (in Game 3), has no assistsand finished minus-3.Boden's take: The team was almost unbeatable when hefound the scoresheet (25-2). Problem was, he couldn't find it often enough inthe least-productive full season of his career. The times his soft hands paidoff around the net couldn't make up for hs lack of speed that really left himlooking like a square peg in a round hole on this team for much of theseason.Maybe his lack of a defined role -- or line -- affected hiseffectiveness. The 38-year-old has been a definition of durability throughout hiscareer, and he played through a painful foot injury in the playoffs.Myers' take: The veteran wing has a great set of handsand that was beneficial around the net. That made him a decent option for apower play that needed someone who was willing to be a net presence. ButBrunettes lack of speed meant he had a tough time keeping up with his swifterteammates. He started on top lines and had a few later games there. He was partof that troika with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane that got hot late in the season.But he spent more time getting juggled up and down the forward lines, nevertruly finding a niche anywhere. The constant changing showed in his stats: his27 points were his fewest since 1998-99 (31 with the Nashville Predators).2012-13 ExpectationsChris: Brunette already indicated the team won't have himback next season, and he had to decide whether this would be a disappointingend to an otherwise productive NHL career that dates back 16 seasons.Tracey: Brunette basically said hes not planning onbeing back with the Blackhawks next season. Sounds like he was told as much,anyway. But right now its uncertain whether hell even play anywhere nextseason. The 38-year-old said he needed to think about whether he wanted to playanother NHL season after wrapping up his 16th. If this was it, Brunette had apretty solid career on which to look back.How do you feel about this evaluation? As always, be sureto chime in with your thoughts by commenting below and check out some ofBrunette's highlights above.Previously: Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, SteveMontador, Sean O'Donnell, Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy, Patrick Sharp, DanielCarcilloUp next: Marcus Kruger