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Wings Sign Brunnstrom, 1 Year

From the Detroit Red Wings:

Fabian Brunnstrom got what he wanted when the Red Wings signed him Monday to a one-year, two-way contract.

Brunnstrom, who last scored an NHL goal 20 months ago, was impressive enough in his professional tryout (PTO) with the Wings that he now occupies a spot on the club’s 23-man opening night roster. The Wings open the season Friday when they host the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena.

“Obviously, he had a good camp,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “Things didn’t work out in Dallas for him, so we’re going to give him an opportunity to show us what he can do.”

continued…

TSN’s Darren Dreger notes the contract details are $600K at NHL/ $105K at AHL

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  Tags: fabian+brunnstrom

Comments

MsRedWinger's avatar

I think this is a good signing, especially since it’s a two-way contract.  Nyquist seemed to be right on the cusp of making the team, but will get more minutes in GR.  Brunnstrom was really impressive at times in the pre-season games.  Makes sense to give him an opportunity to see what he can do, and he has NHL experience.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 10/03/11 at 03:57 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Cheap, two-way deal for a guy that looks like he fits into the Wings’ puck possession system.  What’s not to like?

Posted by Primis on 10/03/11 at 04:12 PM ET

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I’m not up on waiver exemption status on some of these ‘new’ kids.  What happens when Mursak comes off of IR…are we at risk of losing one of Emmerton/Brunnstrom to waiver claims?

Could they send Mursak down this year (essentially redshirt him to possibly use a football term incorrectly), bury him in the minors, and keep both Emmerton and Brunnstrom or is Mursak subject to waivers too?

Posted by deezer on 10/03/11 at 04:19 PM ET

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@deezer: I think it all depends on if Mursak was put on long-term IR (which I believe he was).

If a player’s on LTIR, you can replace his spot with another player without the consequence of possibly losing the replacement player on waivers.  I *think* that’s how it works.  The drawback to LTIR is that you cannot reactivate said player early from IR.

Posted by BuzzFledderjohn on 10/03/11 at 04:30 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Buzz I think you are half right.

When Mursak is healthy, he is out of options. They have to bring him off LTIR when he’s healthy (else watch the union come in with a grievance… Wings are too classy to do that anyways). At which point, Emmerton and Brunnstrom are both out of options as well. So you have two spots for three players.

Not trying to start a rumor or anything… just having a conversation fans like to have about hypotheticals… but I have to think Ken Holland will be looking for suitors for Hudler. Even if Hudler bounces back to the form we expect (20G/25A/12 mins or less per game), he looks very expendable, even more so than we thought in the offseason, now that we have seen such promising performances from Nyquist, Tatar, and Brunnstrom.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 10/03/11 at 04:47 PM ET

DocF's avatar

With Mursak on injured reserve, another player can be brought up to replace him.  If he is on long term injured reserve, his salary does not count toward the cap.  A serious ankle injury such as he has can take anywhere from two months to the season to heal properly.  This mean the Wings cannot/will not rush him.

Brunnstrom can be as good a signing as Danny Cleary.  He almost certainly will be better than was Samuelsson.  He probably will play mostly on the fourth line.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 10/03/11 at 04:49 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

He earned his way onto the team and if he flops by the time Mursak returns in January, the Wings can waive him and clear the way for Mursak to come off the IR. Regrettably and realistically speaking, the Wings will probably suffer some injuries, so one way or another, Brunnstrom will probably be on the team all year long, especially if the Wings move some roster players to reinforce their defense or forwards down the line.

And yes, Mursak’s salary cap space is off the books for as long as he’s on the LTIR.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 10/03/11 at 05:04 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Hopefully Mursak’s situation will light a fire under Hudler.  If Brunnstrom continues to do well, and Emmerton at least keeps pace, its gonna be harder and harder to justify Hudler’s cap hit.  Mursak’s return might finally bring Hudler’s situation to critical mass.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/03/11 at 05:35 PM ET

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Thanks all for the explanation.

Posted by deezer on 10/03/11 at 06:06 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

That $600k is a great salary cap figure for the Wings. They’re getting a guy who could possibly end up on the 2nd line this year for what they’re paying 4th line guys. And the low salary is the “penalty” Fabio has to pay for not signing with the Wings three years ago and learning his craft in G.R.

With the original projection of 2-3 months for Mursak’s return, the Wings will have until late November or early December to see how Hudler, Emmerton and Brunnstrom do. The best two will stay. The worst one will get waived or traded. All thanks to a devastaing injury to a great young guy. That’s hockey.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/03/11 at 06:21 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Brunnstrom can be as good a signing as Danny Cleary.  He almost certainly will be better than was Samuelsson.  He probably will play mostly on the fourth line.

Two things Sammy had going for him (besides Babcock’s constant praise) was his right handed shot that he wasn’t afraid to pit the glass with and his nasty streak. Sammy could get under just about anyone’s skin.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/03/11 at 06:23 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/03/11 at 04:23 PM ET

I’m all about shooting the puck, but it drove me crazy how that guy shot every single time he touched it.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 10/03/11 at 06:33 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Thanks to several “Airplane!” theme live blogs…every time he shoots I still think of the line

“Leg ‘er down a smack ‘em yak ‘em!”

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 10/03/11 at 06:37 PM ET

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Posted by deezer on 10/03/11 at 02:19 PM ET

Mursak, Emmerton and Brunnstrom are all subject to regular waives, so they would all have to clear in order to be sent down to Grand Rapids. If a team put in a claim, they (along with their full cap hits) would transfer to the new team.

Of those three, only Mursak (because his AHL salary exceeds $105,000) would also be subject to recall waivers. If sent to GR, he would need to re-clear waivers in order to return to Detroit. If a team claimed him, Detroit would be on the hook for half his salary and cap hit for the duration of his contract (this year and next).

In a nutshell, that means even if Mursak were able to clear waivers on the way down (he probably wouldn’t), he’d be stuck there for the rest of the season, because there’s no way the Red Wings would risk losing him AND paying half his cap hit this year and next. That’s why we didn’t see Derek Meech at all last year (even though he probably would’ve been better than Kindl and Ericsson for much of the year) and why we won’t see Janik at all this year.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 10/03/11 at 07:21 PM ET

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@Sven22 we also won’t see Janik in Detroit this year because he sucks. I still don’t understand how he even was called up last year.

Psyched to see what Brunnstrom can do. Great skill set, and incredibly driven with something to prove. A bit worried at the possibility of losing a guy like Emmerton or worse, Mursak though. Given the course of normal NHL seasons, however, I feel due to injuries we won’t have to lose a player.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 10/03/11 at 07:36 PM ET

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Solid signing…makes sense. Plus, Brunnstrom is twice the player Hudler is. Literally.

Posted by godblender on 10/03/11 at 08:17 PM ET

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A bit worried at the possibility of losing a guy like Emmerton or worse, Mursak though.

The only way we lose Mursak is if Emmerton, Brunnstrom AND Hudler all prove that they’re worth keeping over Mursak, because there’s no way Mursak clears waivers and the Wings know that.

Posted by Garth on 10/03/11 at 08:20 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Before his injury, there was zero chance of the Wings trying to pass Mursak through waivers. Once Brunnstrom showed up and started playing well, it was always Emmerton who was on the bubble.

Jan’s injury simply gave the Wings the luxury of keeping all three of them until he’s ready to return. By then, they’ll know exactly what they’ve got in Fabio, Emmerton and Happy. Whoever plays the worse gets waived or traded.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/03/11 at 09:01 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Sammy could get under just about anyone’s skin.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 10/03/11 at 04:23 PM ET

That’s the one trait I truly miss.  I don’t miss the puck slappng the glass 9 times a game after going 12 feet wide of the net though… right-handed or left doesn’t matter when you can’t hit the broad side of a barn…

Brunnstrom is Happy at a much cheaper price tag and thus much lower risk.  If I’m Happy, I’m Not right now (see what I did there?)... writing certainly seems to be on the wall finally.

Posted by Primis on 10/04/11 at 12:43 AM ET

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If I’m Happy, I’m Not right now (see what I did there?)... writing certainly seems to be on the wall finally.

Agreed, but I’m sure the writing was on the wall when they spent much of the off-season trying to unload him.

Posted by Garth on 10/04/11 at 01:27 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Sammy sure gets a bum rap around here.  Go back and watch game 1 of the 2008 finals.  He won that game for us, without question.  He was a rock solid contributor on the second line with Flip and Franzen and on the second PP unit all playoffs.  He scored an OT goal in the WCF in 09 while playing on the forth line.

No, he wasn’t a laser-accurate sort of guy.  Why would he have been?  He didn’t stick in the NHL till his late 20s.  He vastly exceeded his ability and played an important part of two wings cup contenders while being able to play Wings style hockey on any line.  I think a lot of you hold Sammy’s brief flashes of something greater against him and can’t get over your notions of what he should’ve been long enough to appreciate what he was.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 10/04/11 at 03:50 AM ET

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can’t get over your notions of what he should’ve been long enough to appreciate what he was.

Who has ever been happy that someone didn’t reach their potential?

Posted by Garth on 10/04/11 at 12:15 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Agreed, but I’m sure the writing was on the wall when they spent much of the off-season trying to unload him.

Posted by Garth on 10/03/11 at 11:27 PM ET

Again with this baseless speculation.  Unless I’m mistaken (and there’s a decent chance I am), there was one or two Tweets (*gag*) by people who weren’t associated with the Wings at all pushing that, then St. James picked it up and ran with it, even though there were no direct quotes from anyone in the organization regarding trying to move Hudler.

Granted, I’m as big a Hudler fan as there is, but this is certainly his make-or-break season.  If he doesn’t pick up during the first half of the season where he left off the last half of last season, I can’t imagine him being around much past January.

That being said, if you think Brunnstrom is an upgrade over Hudler, you’re going to be in for a very rude awakening.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 10/04/11 at 12:49 PM ET

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Posted by RedMenace from A State of Insanity on 10/04/11 at 10:49 AM ET

I’m looking forward to seeing what Brunnstrom can do, but I share your skepticism. He’s never been dominant at any top professional level, and I’m not sure where the all the hype came from—in his supposed “breakout” year in the SEL, he still only had 37 points in 54 games, good for just fifth on his team. And only 9 of those points were goals.

Like I said, I’m excited to see what Brunnstrom will do, because I think he’s saying all the right things and because I think he really wants to work hard and succeed here. But he’s never been as good as the hype, and success in the preseason, against minor leaguers and sleepwalking NHL vets, isn’t always the best indicator of success in the regular season.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 10/04/11 at 01:35 PM 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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