Flashing back to the off-season of 2008, Fabian Brunnstrom was getting attention from all sorts of NHL teams as a highly touted free agent prospect from Sweden. He had Detroit, Toronto, and Dallas all hot after him and it was the Stars that landed him. In his rookie season, he scored 17 goals for Dallas but in 2011, Brunnstrom has finally worn out his welcome with the Stars after two and a half seasons. Today, Dallas traded Brunnstrom to Toronto for prospect forward Mikhail Stefanovich.
Brunnstrom was making $675,000 in the AHL this season as he’s played for the AHL Texas Stars all year. For a team that’s hard-pressed for money, cutting loose Brunnstrom for a prospect who’s currently on loan to the KHL makes a ton of financial sense. Brunnstrom is making that much in the minor leagues because he’s on a one-way contract. He re-signed with Dallas this past off-season as the Stars weren’t ready to give up on him just yet, but with money being the big motivator here Brunnstrom was an expendable piece.
Of course, money wasn’t the sole motivation for dealing him. This year through 37 games in the AHL, Brunnstrom had 11 goals and 10 assists. Those kinds of numbers aren’t exactly impressive but for a Toronto team desperate to add any offense to the mix in their system, it’s worth it to take a shot on Brunnstrom. If he can take this trade as motivation, getting him to unleash his potential for the Leafs would make for a great boost to their offensively challenged lineup. Banking on that happening, however, would be presumptuous at best.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.