Friday, May 02, 2008

A word of caution

"I don't know if I'm ready for National Hockey League."
At least the kid's honest.

Now, Brunnstrom might be a great player following a path we've never seen before, but I reserve the right to remain skeptical, especially given I talked with a few trusted sources in Sweden who were pretty muted on what kind of impact he'll have in the NHL.

It's a lot to expect someone to jump right from the top Swedish league to the NHL. It's more than that to expect someone to go from that country's second division, to the SEL, to the NHL and still make an impact.

That might be a downright impossibility.

I'm not willing to simply say, "well, so many teams are interested, he must be good," because we've seen NHL management interested in all kinds of dregs in the past. It wasn't long ago that 40-year-old free agents were getting $7-million deals.

I wish him luck next season if he gets a "play me on the top two lines" guarantee. That could be a nightmare.



At 5:04 p.m., May 02, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

What is "this guy will win the 2004 Calder Trophy" Eero Somervauri doing these days?

I honestly wonder how many organizations suddenly got "interested" in him when Detroit was first reported to be kicking the tires.

No way any of Dallas, Detroit, or Montreal (the 3 teams he's meeting with in person right now) are guaranteeing him ice time.

At 5:05 p.m., May 02, 2008, Blogger Nick said...

The media's made him into something he isn't... Where is all this talk about his wanting playing time guarantees coming from anyway?

At 5:10 p.m., May 02, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Somervauri had 10 goals in the SEL this year, one more than Brunnstrom.

There were reports Nonis had offered him "top six" minutes next season, and that that was why he had chosen Vancouver over Detroit. Brunnstrom today denied he asked for an ice time guarantee, but that was definitely out there.

Not that it'd be in doubt with the Canucks.

At 5:16 p.m., May 02, 2008, Blogger Canuckfan said...

Makes you wonder if this was the reason for the Aquilinis to fire Nonis as precipitously as they did: did they get the feeling that Nonis was going to waste Luongo's 3rd contract year on the hope that a mystery Swede would save the day?

At 6:11 p.m., May 02, 2008, Blogger heed said...

i thought that brunnstrom said that he was not ready for the nhl during his interview ontsn last night but i assumed it was my imagination. i wish the kid luck because with all this hype, he's going to need it.

At 7:13 p.m., May 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't Jaroslav Hlinka last year's Greatest Player Currently Not in the NHL?

Why do people cling to these fantasies that in this day and age of worldwide scouting that there's some guy out there who hasn't been seen by anyone yet?

At 10:25 p.m., May 02, 2008, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Why do people cling to these fantasies that in this day and age of worldwide scouting that there's some guy out there who hasn't been seen by anyone yet?

Because the Red Wings keep finding players in all sorts of unlikely corners of Sweden that no one else finds. I wouldn't be surprised if Ken Holland is playing on that reputation, and just trying to drive up the price for whoever signs him.


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