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Dallas deals Swedish enigma Fabian Brunnstrom to Toronto

Jan 13, 2011, 5:54 PM EST

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Carlo Colaiacovo, Fabian Brunnstrom AP

Flashing back to the off-season of 2008, Fabian Brunnstrom was getting attention from all sorts of NHL teams as a highly touted free agent prospect from Sweden. He had Detroit, Toronto, and Dallas all hot after him and it was the Stars that landed him. In his rookie season, he scored 17 goals for Dallas but in 2011, Brunnstrom has finally worn out his welcome with the Stars after two and a half seasons. Today, Dallas traded Brunnstrom to Toronto for prospect forward Mikhail Stefanovich.

Brunnstrom was making $675,000 in the AHL this season as he’s played for the AHL Texas Stars all year. For a team that’s hard-pressed for money, cutting loose Brunnstrom for a prospect who’s currently on loan to the KHL makes a ton of financial sense. Brunnstrom is making that much in the minor leagues because he’s on a one-way contract. He re-signed with Dallas this past off-season as the Stars weren’t ready to give up on him just yet, but with money being the big motivator here Brunnstrom was an expendable piece.

Of course, money wasn’t the sole motivation for dealing him. This year through 37 games in the AHL, Brunnstrom had 11 goals and 10 assists. Those kinds of numbers aren’t exactly impressive but for a Toronto team desperate to add any offense to the mix in their system, it’s worth it to take a shot on Brunnstrom. If he can take this trade as motivation, getting him to unleash his potential for the Leafs would make for a great boost to their offensively challenged lineup. Banking on that happening, however, would be presumptuous at best.

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