Stars win Fabian Brunnstrom sweepstakes
The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will have to look elsewhere for free-agent forwards after Sweden's Fabian Brunnstrom chose to sign with the Dallas Stars Thursday.
CBCSports.ca confirmed the signing — a two-year, entry-level deal — which brings an end to one of the most talked about NHL stories in recent months.
The Detroit Red Wings were believed to be the fourth team in the running for the 23-year-old Brunnstrom, a speedy and skilled winger and a classic late bloomer.
Earlier in the season, the Vancouver Canucks reportedly were close to signing Brunnstrom, but the process was held up following the firing of general manager Dave Nonis.
"In the end there was no wrong decision for Fabian," Brunnstrom's agent J.P. Barry of CAA Sports told the Canadian Press. "All the organizations were extremely professional in laying out the opportunity for him to play for their club.
"Dallas was involved from the beginning, and in particular [co-GM] Les Jackson did a good job overviewing the benefits of Dallas.
"When Fabian visited Dallas and got to meet everybody, including the players, he just felt it was the best overall fit for him."
Barry would not discuss financial details but it's believed the deal is worth $875,000 US in base salary and could pay up to $2.5 million a season if he achieves all of his bonuses.
Brunnstrom went undrafted and was extremely desirable, given his status as an unrestricted free agent.
Brunnstrom, who visited Montreal last week, is coming off a nine-goal, 37-point season in 54 games with Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League.