Leafs acquire Fabian Brunnstrom

Leafs acquire Fabian Brunnstrom

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in return for prospect Mikhail Stefanovich.

Update: Brian Burke tells MLHS Brunnstrom will start with the Marlies – “we’ll see how he does.” He adds that there’s no change in the Standard Player Contract count as Stefanovich was still Leaf property, “but he had time left, Fabian does not.” A trade off of term for salary from the sounds of it.

The 25-year-old Brunnstrom, who generated a sweepstakes of sorts after a big year for Farjestads, was originally a target of John Ferguson’s when he opted for the Dallas Stars as his NHL destination in spring, 2008. A promising if injury shortened rookie campaign of 17 goals in 55 games preceded a disastrous sophomore season that saw him spend some time with the AHL’s Texas Stars and nearly led to arbitration after he felt he was lowballed by the Stars’ initial qualifying offer. The sides settled on a one-year, one-way contract extension worth $675,000.

This season, Brunnsrom  has played in 37 games for Texas, Dallas’ primary affiliate in the AHL, posting 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists).

The mercurial Mikhail Stefanovich had been unhappy with the Toronto Marlies, where he was scratched at one point and sent to the ECHL, before he was loaned overseas to play for HC Dynamo Minsk. He’s since recorded only one goal and one point in 15 games. Where Stefanovich is loaned overseas, Brunnstrom is on a one way contract and raking pretty good coin for an AHLer – these are the type of gambles the Leafs of all teams are in a good position to make given the coffers of MLSE.

Brunnstrom isn’t the next Daniel Alfredsson as Ken Campbell of THN once wondered. Best case scenario, a fresh start can help him battle back and rediscover his 2008-09 form as a secondary scorer and NHL regular. More likely, he serves out his contract mostly with the Marlies and provides some offensive depth with NHL experience in case of injury or a lack of options. At a $675k, one-year commitment and for a fourth round prospect that doesn’t seem to be catching on anywhere, it seems like a low risk reclamation project.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]

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