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.