Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Shiv on 01/13/11 at 10:18 PM ET
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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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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