In today NSD, a newpaper in northern Sweden ran an article quoting Luleć player Karl Fabricius as saying the Flyers have been trying to recruit him for the Phantoms with the understanding of a shot at the big club by next year. Luleć is the team ex-Flyer Mikael Renberg plays for. Branko Radivojevic was there during the lockout, as was ex-Flyer Justin Williams.
Fabricius, who's 23, has sometimes been called a mini-Renberg (he's smaller than Mikael and has never produced offense at a similar pace, but has a similar work ethic and style).
Agent: "They've scouted him several times and liked what they've seen"
Today's hockeybombshell [a wee bit of an exaggeration, eh?]: Peter Forsberg's Philadelphia Flyers are hunting down Karl Fabricius from Luleć Hockey. They've scouted him several times and liked what they've seen," says his agent Juuso Pulliainen.
Today, NSD can officially report that the Philadelphia Flyers already, in November, tried to sign the Luleć forwarde to play with their farm team in North America.
"It was really cool and flattering to hear, but I knew immediate I had no other alternative than to stick with Luleć during the rest of this season," reports Fabricius.
But several weeks later, immediately before Christmas, the Flyers made another attempt and even contacted Luleć Hockey with a proposal in which the club would agree to release him from his contract.
HAS THE BEST FARM TEAM [well, they did last year, anyway]
"They thought there was a good chance for me to familiarize myself with North American hockey on their farm team right now and have a better chance at the NHL next season, but an agreement was never imminent," says Fabricius, who has 7 goals and 7 assists with Luleć this year.
In that case, Fabricius had the chance to land with the best farm team in North America-- the Philadelphia Phantoms are the reigning AHL champions and are coached [never mind John Stevens] by Swedish legend Kjell Samuelsson [I don't think Kjell is quite a legend, but anyway]. Former AIK defenseman David Printz has played with the Phantoms since last season.
The Flyers scouts have studied Fabricius live several times and see a future NHL player in Avansonen.
"Kalle [nickname for Karl] has the right playing style, he's a good skater, strong and coachable. I think he has a good chance. They [the Flyers] liked what they saw," says agent Pullainen.
23-year-old Fabricius has been ordinary in Elitserien for two season and is now the assistant captain with Luleć, but [should be "and"] he has never been drafted by an NHL team.
ALWAYS BEEN A DREAM
Now he qualifies as a free agent [under the new European drafting rules] and can therefore go to whichever NHL team he likes [and wants to sign him].
His contract with Luleć runs out this season.
"It's always been a dream to play over there, but we'll see," says Fabricius.
HAS LULEĆ CONTACTED YOU ABOUT NEXT SEASON
"They'll certainly speak with my agent shortly about that," [says Fabricius].