The Detroit Red Wings made the decision to walk away from 2019 draft pick Albin Grewe rather than offer the Swedish left-winger a contract. In hindsight, it’s appearing as though that decision is saving them a world of headaches.
Tuesday, playing for Djurgardens IF in Hockey Allsvenskan, the Swedish second division, Grewe was picking up his third match penalty of the season. This time out, he was sent to the showers for a head shot on AIK’s Calle Åsell.
Färdigspelat för Djurgårdens Albin Grewe ❌ pic.twitter.com/eHnEGGcjM1
— TV4 Hockey (@TV4_Hockey) December 27, 2023
In the aftermath, one of the more puzzling developments came when Swedish TV broadcaster Fredrik Soderstrom was opting to compare Grewe’s antics to that of Ioan Ursut, among Sweden’s most notorious criminals.
“It’s downright stupid to go in like that,” Swedish website Aftonbladet.se reported Soderstrom saying during the broadcast of the game. “A player like Albin Grewe, who has a criminal record that makes Ursut and the boys appear sympathetic, should stay away from that.”
Ursut was a bank robber and convicted murderer known for his daring escapes from prison. Once while on the lam, he shot a Swedish police officer.
As for Grewe, this is his third match penalty in five weeks.
Grewe’s Coach At A Loss
Djurgarden coach Michael Holmquist admitted that it’s an ongoing battle to keep Grewe from crossing over that line from playing hard and physical to playing dirty.
“Albin is hot and I try to work with him,” Holmquist told Aftonbladet. “I have done that for many years. I’ve had him as a junior too.
Albin Grewe Sin Egen Graw https://t.co/27vNLpo92o
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“It is a balance in when it is mode and not, to find the right modes. I have to keep working on it, of course. He needs to find the balance to have a nice and long hockey career.”
Red Wings Saw Grewe As Marchand Type
Part of the first draft class under current GM Steve Yzerman, the Red Wings were hoping Grewe could evolve into a Brad Marchand type. After selecting him 66th overall, they were thinking he’d develop into a player who played with an edge, but didn’t cross the line into seriously foul play.
Grewe even skated an 11-game stint with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins in 2020-21, collecting two assists and six penalty minutes. But after spending the past two seasons in Hockey Allsvenskan, the Wings were opting not to sign Grewe and relinquished their rights to him.