From the department of “interesting” news, our friends over at Puck Daddy are reporting that the Red Wings have signed former Swedish Elite League – and Dallas Stars/Toronto Maple Leafs – forward Fabian Brunnström to a try-out contract. The source of the report – Aftonbladet’s Tomas Ros – notes that Brunnström turned down contracts to play for HV71 Jonkoping and Farjestads BK in an attempt to find his way back to an NHL roster this season.
For those who have a solid long-term memory, you’ll recall that Ken Holland did his best to bring Brunnström to the Wings back in 2008, ultimately watching the Dallas Stars win that race. While his start was hot – a hat trick against the Nashville Predators in his NHL debut – Brunnström quickly did his best Johan Franzen “meteoric return to Earth” impression and currently holds 19 goals and 21 assists in 99 games played.
What does it mean for both parties? For the Wings, it’s a low-risk shot at a player with lots of hypothetical “upside” who may be ready to do the work required to eventually make it to the big club and potentially adds some depth to the roster. For Brunnström, it’s the chance to show he’s matured to the point where he can be considered an NHL player, although he’ll likely find himself AHL bound instead. As a point-of-procedure, should Brunnström get a full contract from the Wings, he would have to clear waivers to be sent down to Grand Rapids.