Coveted Swede star has eyes on Canadian clubs
Monday, January 21, 2008 | 12:45 PM ET
Fabian Brunnstrom currently plays with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League.
If you missed the Hotstove Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada go and check it out right now and get back to me.
Pierre LeBrun mentioned a 22-year-old free agent playing for Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League and just tearing it up. His name is Fabian Brunnstrom and just about every team in the NHL is interested in his services and the teams pushing the hardest - and in the hunt - are the Detroit Red Wings, Vancouver Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Those are the clubs Brunnstrom has told his agent he’s be interested in signing with.
Here’s a couple of examples of the kid’s work.
And watch him split the defence here. Great acceleration and puck control.
Brunnstrom plays on a line with former Detroit prospect Mikael Johansson and Per Aslund on top team in the SEL as Farjestad sits third behind Timra and HV 71, who are in first.
I don’t think if you look at this list that it’s much of a secret that Brunnstrom wants to end up on a team with a heavy Swedish influence with both Detroit (Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Holmstrom, Samuelsson, Lilja, Kronwall, Franzen) and the Canucks (the Sedins, Naslund, Ohlund and Edler) leading the charge. The Leafs have Sundin, Steen (who was actually born in Winnipeg), Stralman and Kronwall.
The Tre Kronor Canucks?
The Tre Kronor Red Wings?
The Tre Kronor Maple Leafs?
Either way, one team might as well put the three crowns on their jerseys next season when Brunnstrom decides where he wants to play.
Oilers youngster shines again
Sam Gagner was at it again last night against the Atlanta Thrashers. Check out this nifty little move that left Kari Lehtonen’s jockstrap somewhere around the hash marks.
And now it’s time this kid either got more playing time since the Oilers are just about out of the playoff picture and there is no sense playing him for six or seven minutes a game.
First time for everything
Veteran defenceman Alexei Zhitnik was a health scratch for the first time in his career but after a brutal 10-1 loss Friday against the Buffalo Sabres you just knew Don Waddell would sit someone. Zhitnik was plenty upset about the scratch saying: “It was not fun. Everything happens for a first time in your life. It took me 15 years to be a healthy scratch, yeah, I’m [ticked] off. I’m not happy.”
Zhitnik was on the ice for six of the Sabres goals last Friday.
NHLPA boss likes idea of Canadian expansion
Very interesting comments from Paul Kelly over the weekend with the NHLPA’s executive director telling the Palm Beach Post that the league should take a serious look at placing more teams in Canada. Kelly mentioned cities like Winnipeg, Hamilton along with U.S. locations like Seattle, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Houston.
"The six Canadian franchises do so well, they pack the buildings, get great TV, great revenue streams. If you put another team up there, be it in Nova Scotia or Hamilton, it would be more of the same."
You knew this would happen didn’t you? At his first press conference after being named union leader Kelly quickly pointed out that one of the areas he had concern in the CBA was franchise sale and re-location/expansion. And while he didn’t pin point exactly what his concerns were …
a) Players not seeing any part of the revenues when franchises are sold.
b) Players having a say in what markets the league expands into.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is quick to point out that he feels the league and players union have a “partnership” with the common goal being grow the game and grow the revenues. However, he has always come up short when the issue of the players having a say about either of the above mentioned issues. Kelly, it seems, will test the limits of this "partnership." Battle number one between the players and the owners.
On a related note, the best interview with Kelly was done earlier this season by Ron MacLean, let’s go back and have a peek.
Flyers pummel Sens and McGrattan
Major scrap last night in Philadelphia as Flyer Riley Cote surprised Brian McGrattan in the first period of Philly 6-1 win over the Sens. The Senators tough guy injured his right shoulder during the first and will be out of the lineup tomorrow's game against the Florida Panthers.
Expect Nick Foligno of the Binghampton Senators to be called up in McGrattan's place.
On today’s edition of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Radio (Sirius ch 122 at 4 p.m. ET), I’ll be joined by my co-host Kelly Hrudey. In the first hour, Ron MacLean drops by and the three of us will talk to the aforementioned Paul Kelly.
Also we’ll be joined by Shawn Matthias of the Florida Panthers (who scored a pair of goals in his second NHL game Friday night). Other guests include Larry Brooks of the New York Post (man the Rangers are in a bad way … think they’ll trade Jaromir Jagr? I think they’ll try), along with Jim Hughson and Scott Morrison of Hockey Night in Canada.
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About the Author
Jeff Marek, one of sports talk radio's brightest stars, is the host of the all-new HNIC Radio on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. A twelve-year sports-talk radio veteran, the Toronto native provides intelligent hockey talk, insight and debate during the two-hour national daily drive-time hockey program.
Well known for his previous work on Leafs Lunch on AM 640 Toronto Radio, Marek is one of sports talk radio's most respected personalities. He joined AM 640 in 2000, hosting The Jeff Marek Show, a nightly open-line talk show, while working as the stations' morning news anchor. He quickly became the director of sports news and joined host Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch.
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