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Brunnstrom might have been on his way to a contract prior to Jan Mursak's ankle being bent up a million ways of nasty, but his starting the season with the Wings is likely a direct result of that injury.
Mursak was slated to be the Wings' top homegrown addition this season, as he played his way into a contract extension last season that would ostensibly have him enter life as a full-time NHL player.
However, Mursak was on a one-way deal that carried some risk with it.
Had he started this season and underperformed, the Wings would be forced to sit him in favor of more deserving players (a la the 2010-11 Jiri Hudler program), or, attempt to demote him to the minors.
The latter option would carry with it the risk of losing him via waiver-acquisition, something the Red Wings would want to avoid if at all possible, even if Mursak was under-performing.
Now that Brunnstrom has effectively taken Mursak's spot, the Wings have another young and promising forward with which to rebuild, but with no risk of losing him should they choose to demote him.
Indeed, when Mursak is ready to return, Brunnstrom may be sent to the Grand Rapids to continue playing, while Mursak gets an extended stay in Detroit.
At worst, the Wings could have a player that starts the year a depth player and later becomes a first-option call up when Mursak's return pushes him down the depth chart.