TORONTO– Fabian Brunnstrom’s playing days with the Toronto Marlies officially came to an end on Monday when he signed a pro try-out contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
When the Leafs organization chose to not resign the left-winger following a poor 2010/11 season, split between Toronto and Texas, much speculation had the 26 year old returning home to Sweden. However, Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said that Brunnstrom reached out to Detroit for another opportunity to continue playing in North America.
Detroit will be Brunnstroms’s third NHL club in just over a season and perhaps his last if he doesn’t improve on his declining statistics.
After signing with the Dallas Stars in 2008, the former Swedish Elite League product gained instant notice scoring a hat-trick against the Nashville Predators in his first NHL game. He would then go on to tally a total of 17 goals his rookie season, making the future look promising.
Unfortunately, the “Sophomore Slump” hit in 2009 as he could only muster two goals in 44 games; leading to assignment with the Texas Stars.
After never being able to regain his early impact, Brunnstrom was traded to Toronto in January of 2011 for defense man Mikhail Stefanovich.
He was excited to have a shot in Toronto, believing it was a second chance, however he never did find a comfort with the team and took seven games to score his first goal.
His play was very inconsistent and in the 35 games that he suited up with the Marlies, he recorded just four goals and 10 assists; numbers far below the expectation by both the club and himself.
His 4.5% shooting percentage was second worst on the team and included a span of 24 games, between February 9th and March 30th, where he had just one goal.
The lack of offense led to Brunnstrom being a healthy scratch for the final two games of the season.
It has been a rough two seasons to say the least for Brunnstrom, especially considering his time in Toronto was spent living in a hotel, taking cabs to the Ricoh Coliseum on game day.
A try-out with Detroit is an opportunity, but chances of making their roster are slim. If, he plays well enough, perhaps he could join the Wings affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. That however hasn’t been discussed yet, leaving Brunnstrom’s future up to him.
The Toronto Marlies still have three unsigned players from last year’s roster:
RW Aaron Voros
C Brayden Irwin
LW Jeff Cowan
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