Here’s a roundup of smaller moves from this afternoon.
Canucks avoid arbitration, sign Weise to one-year deal
Vancouver re-upped with physical fourth liner Dale Weise, signing him to a one-year, one-way deal worth $615,000. Weise, a former Rangers forward, was best known for his part in last season’s dust-up with the Boston Bruins that saw him fight Nathan Horton and draw the ire of Shawn Thornton as well. He had four goals, four assists and 81 penalty minutes in 68 games for Vancouver.
Ottawa re-signs Da Costa for one year
Former Merrimack College standout Stephane Da Costa will stick with the Ottawa Senators after inking a one-year, two-way deal. The native of Paris, France played in just 22 games with the Sens last season potting three goals and adding two assists. Da Costa spent most of the year at the Sens’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
Brunnstrom is heading back to Sweden
So much potential, so little of it fulfilled. Former lusted after Swedish prospect Fabian Brunnstrom is headed back to the Swedish Elite League after signing a three-year deal with Frolunda. Brunnstrom scored 17 goals in his first season with Dallas in 2008-09, but failed to find his way after that with both Toronto and Detroit. So long Fabian, we hardly knew ye.
With all the discussion he’s generated lately, you’d think Justin Schultz was the next Paul Coffey (who called him, by the way). For some, all the talk is fascinating. Others are growing tired of all the hubbub about a guy who hasn’t skated a single NHL shift. Wherever you rest, an answer will come soon. Bob McKenzie reports that the unrestricted rookie will announce his decision tomorrow.
Could it be the Edmonton Oilers? Perhaps the much-hinted-upon Vancouver Canucks? Might he defy the expectations that he’ll sign with a team in Western Canada?
We’ll find out tomorrow, which will give Schultz one more day in the limelight before a deluge of other news bits on July 1.
As far as finding out how good he is, we won’t get our first sign for a few months. It would be awfully disappointing if he was the rookie defenseman answer to Fabian Brunnstrom, though, wouldn’t it?
Tonight very well could be Fabian Brunnstrom’s last shot to make a name for himself in not just Detroit but the NHL as well. Brunnstrom gets the call to start tonight against Tampa Bay and after alternating between being a healthy scratch and riding the bus to the AHL and back, his future is in his hands.
As Helene St. James reports, Brunnstrom will be on the Wings’ third line with Darren Helm and Dan Cleary but it’s Wings coach Mike Babcock that makes it plain as day that this is his big opportunity to show he can cut it in the big leagues. Babcock says that the opportunity for him is there now and that if he doesn’t seize the day, it might not come around again.
With his career ups and downs in Dallas, Toronto, and now Detroit if Brunnstrom can’t show he’s got the skills tonight it’s tough to imagine he’ll get another chance elsewhere aside from the AHL.
Carpe diem, Fabian.
Fabian Brunnstrom is finding out that there’s no real hard feelings in hockey. After spurning the Red Wings for Dallas three years ago, Brunnstrom signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Red Wings after impressing Ken Holland and Mike Babcock enough in training camp to get the deal. Brunnstrom will make $600,000 in the NHL and $105,000 in the AHL if he’s sent there.
Back in 2008 when Brunnstrom came over from Sweden to join the NHL, he had two teams in hot pursuit of him in the Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings. Being Swedish and getting interest from Detroit seems natural, but Brunnstrom opted to sign with Dallas to prove he could hack it in the NHL. After a strong debut that saw him score a hat trick in his first game, Brunnstrom faded into irrelevancy after two years with the Stars and was traded to Toronto.
The Red Wings’ affinity for Brunnstrom was still there enough so that Holland extended an invite to Brunnstrom and, for the most part, he’s looked focused and motivated to win a job with the Wings. Whether Brunnstrom sticks in Detroit or spends most of the year in Grand Rapids remains to be seen, but for Brunnstrom this could be his last chance to make it in the NHL.
After not being able to break through in Toronto last year, if he can stick in Detroit it’ll be a miraculous turnaround for a guy who was thought to be the next big thing out of Sweden.
When Fabian Brunnstrom came to the NHL three years ago from Sweden, he was hotly pursued by the Red Wings, Canadiens, and Stars. Ultimately the Stars signed the highly-touted forward and it was seen as a coup beating out the Sweden-friendly Red Wings. The 6’1″ 205 pound forward had a lot of promise and going to a team like Dallas was seen to be a big move for the organization.
After his first season in Dallas that saw him score 17 goals in 55 games, there was promise. Three years later, Brunnstrom was traded in a minor league deal to Toronto and spent the entirety of last season in the AHL with the Texas Stars and Toronto Marlies. After being unable to make his mark on the NHL, it was expected that Brunnstrom’s try at becoming the latest Swedish star sensation was over. As it turns out, he’ll get one more chance to prove his worth in training camp next month with the same Detroit Red Wings that attempted to land him back in 2008.
Swedish news site Aftonbladet reports that Brunnstrom will get a training camp invitation from the Red Wings to see if he can unleash his untapped potential with a host of other Swedish countrymen to help him blend in. Having Nicklas Lidstrom, Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Ericsson, and Tomas Holmstrom there to show him the way things are done in Detroit may help him out.
Brunnstrom could also be out of luck with such a loaded Red Wings organization that also has Swedish phenom Gustav Nyqvist gunning to find a spot in the rotation as well. With Nyqvist being the new hotness and Brunnstrom being the old and busted part of the talent search, Brunnstrom’s chances to earn a contract with the organization will be tough. Since he’s just getting a tryout, that means he’ll have to perform better than other players who are already locked into deals with the team and the others they’ll also have in on a tryout basis. For Brunnstrom, taking the easy route won’t be an option this time if he wants to stay in the NHL.