Agent: Coyotes won’t qualify Brule, set to become UFA
It appears Gilbert Brules long, strange trip through the NHL is about to take another turn.
According to Vancouvers News 1130, the 25-year-old RFA wont be tendered a qualifying offer from the Phoenix Coyotes, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Player agent Gerry Johansson said hell meet with Phoenix GM Don Maloney at this weekends draft in the hope of reaching a new deal. Brules in the final season of a two-year deal that paid $1.85 million annually, so its likely the Coyotes simply werent interested in matching that.
Brules career has been tumultuous since Columbus took him sixth overall at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He fell out of favor with the Blue Jackets and Oilers before landing with the Coyotes and, in a February interview with the Vancouver Sun, alluded to some off-ice issues that plagued the early parts of his career:
Asked if he suffered from depression, Brule said:
I dont know what you want to call it. I just wasnt happy with things. On the ice, hockey is obviously the biggest part of my life. In every aspect, it affects you, especially when youre not doing well or not doing as well as you think you should.
Brule said his issues stem from family, but he is keeping those issues private.
In September, before the Oilers waived him through the NHL and sent Brule to their minor-league team in Oklahoma City, he told the Edmonton Journal:
The things Ive had to go through with my family have been very, very tough. I would never wish them on anyone. It has definitely affected me in a very negative way and I wasnt feeling very good about myself.
Brule performed well in just under a half season with the Coyotes, scoring 5G-9A-14PTS in 33 regular season games with a plus-7 rating. He also chipped in with a pair of goals during Phoenixs surprising run to the Western Conference finals.
*** BTW ~ Canucks can makeup for not getting to draft Gilbert, by signing him,and putting him as the Right Wing with the Sedins,where he would score 30 goals,40 assists and about 350 hits.*** TKO Pro Scout