Blogs > Red Wings Corner

Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Not a bad start for Brunnstrom

OK ... maybe Fabian Brunnstrom is that good. The Swedish free agent played his first NHL game tonight and netted a hat trick, including the winning goal in Dallas' 6-4 win over Nashville. Brunnstrom was a highly sought-after unrestricted free agent last spring, who narrowed his choices down to Dallas, Detroit and Montreal. He had a verbal agreement before that with Vancouver, but when the Canucks changed their management, Brunnstrom went shopping.

How rare is a hat trick in an NHL debut? The only other players to accomplish thatwere Alex Smart (1943) and Real Cloutier (1979).

Not a bad night for Brunnstrom -- someone who was working in a Swedish Burger King a few years ago while playing low-level professional hockey.

OK, so Brunnstrom isn't the next Bobby Orr ... or whatever you'd want to call a Swedish free agent superstar forward. But after tonight, it looks like he's definitely equipped to succeed in this league. And maybe he would have been a nice fit on a second line with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen.


Anonymous mudshark said...

Leino should be playing with Z and Mule.

Frankly, I think Kopecky is pretty much a non-factor at this point. I mean, he's decent enough, but nothing special. In terms of the top twelve, I think there are a couple better players playing in GR.

Might seem like a rush, but why not bring him up? Couldn't hurt to try. That line needs help- and Hudler, Samuelsson, and Cleary aren't enough.

That said, I like the idea of some different line combos, at least for awhile. I am missing the Z-Dats-Homer line, too, to be honest.

October 16, 2008 at 12:40 AM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

If you mean drop Kopecky and add Leino, then that could be done. Just adding Leino however, can't. The Wings don't have the cap space.

October 16, 2008 at 1:00 AM 
Anonymous Justin said...

Don't worry. Leino will score 4 in his NHL debut. I wish...

October 16, 2008 at 3:22 AM 
Blogger Michael said...

Bruce, if the Z line continues to struggle, do you think we could see Leino move up there? I know Babs has talked about moving Cleary up to that line, but it seems to me Z and Franzen could benefit from a skill guy like Leino.

October 16, 2008 at 10:31 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am, Bruce, I am.

And I agree with Michael- even though koppy has size and decent speed, that's about it. I think the only way splitting up Z and Dats works is if we get some more offensive talent on the Z line- and Leino's the only guy I've seen this year with those kind of chops (regardless of whatever shortcomings his game might have otherwise).

As far as the effect on the top 12, Kopecky is, to me, the semi-obvious odd man out. Hudler has more offensive upside, and that line with Helm and Maltby worked pretty well last year. Maltby and Samuelsson aren't going anywhere. That pretty much leaves Kopecky...

October 16, 2008 at 8:16 PM 

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