I don't know why we're picking "Brunner or Ryder", like we have 4 stacked lines of great players throughout or something. There were a couple games we had Stephen Gionta on the 2nd line playing with Elias. Hell, who knows where Ryane Clowe stands going into next season... We were even using Gelinas a winger. This is the New Jersey Devils offensive depth chart, and it's reeeeeeally bad.
We absolutely need first line offensive talent so that the move of Ryder/Brunner to the 3rd line can be made, no-brainer. Until then, there's no use debating which one we could do without, because we need everyone we can, just to still be "not good enough" haha... I may be in the minority here but I think we still need both players going into next season.
Neither contract is really that bad; the problem is not Brunner or Ryder, it's that we needed them to be the 1st liners that they really aren't. We're not all crapping on Zubrus, are we? No. But why not? Out of the 3, he was the least value for money...