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LLL - Brunnstrom vs. Stefanovich

Brian Burke was one of the few GMs involved in the Fabian Brunstrom Sweepstakes two seasons ago. He lost the bidding war to the Dallas Stars. At the time, Brunnstrom was proclaimed to be the “Best Forward Not in the NHL.”

To put it delicately, Brunnstrom failed to meet expectations.

Instead, he spent the past couple of seasons being demoted from the Stars to their AHL affiliate. In 99 games of NHL action he has put up 40 points and has spent the entire season this year in the AHL, unable to crack the Dallas roster.

So today when Burke finally landed his man (albeit two years late), Leaf Nation for once finds it easy to temper excitement.

What can be said, however, is that the Leafs gave back just as much of a wild card to the Stars. Despite having a good career in the Q, Stefanovich is now playing in the KHL this season and has a measly 1 point in 15 games. A 4th Round selection by the Leafs in 2008, the move is hardly substantial.

But just because Brunnstrom has not met expectations does not mean he can’t. Hype is, after all, a function of potential. Of course, odds are Brunnstrom is not going to suddenly start playing like an NHLer.

The play is very much a low-risk/high-reward.

Worst case scenario: the Leafs gave up a 4th Rounder who probably won’t amount to much anyways. Best case scenario: the Leafs found a top 9 forward in Brunnstrom.

Of course, the Dallas Stars are thinking the exact same thing about Stefanovich.

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inferno31's avatar

Dallas Stars did this deal to save money for the most part. Leafs can easily take the risk to grab Fabian though, he showed glimpses of that very potential in his first year. This will be a Dallas Eakins project, I expect him to get some injury call up time this season and we’ll see where he goes from there. As you said low risk high reward. Stefanovich was never going to become a leaf player either way, and has serious questions around him regarding his worth ethic/personality.

Posted by inferno31 on 01/13/11 at 10:43 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Desperation move.

Posted by Primis on 01/13/11 at 11:05 PM ET

sjketcheson's avatar

I expect him to get some injury call up time this season and we’ll see where he goes from there.

Woah! What are you talking about - he’ll jump right in on the Leaf’s 1st line!!! bahahaha

Posted by sjketcheson from the floor of the Hasek on 01/13/11 at 11:20 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Brunnstrom and Leino are similiar- amusing, considering Leino was the under-the-radar catch when Fabian Mania was all the rage.  They’re very talented, with top-6 skillsets but they don’t/won’t work hard enough to earn top six minutes for a talented team.  Say what you will about the Stars, they’ve got a really deep group of forwards that he couldn’t crack.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 01/14/11 at 01:07 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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