For those of you who don't remember, "Hat Trick Dick" was Detroit's 3rd round pick back in the summer of 2006. The Swedish left winger is 23 years old and is listed at 6'2 and 188 lbs. After being drafted by Detroit, he had an impressive couple of years in the Swedish Elite League and finally made the trip over to the United States for the 2009-2010 season, which he started in Grand Rapids.
After only 17 games...Axelsson had only registered five points (two goals and three assists) - which isn't terrible....but was enough to dissuade the then 22 year old from continuing his career in North America. He decided to bolt back to Sweden where his career has somewhat fizzled.
However, Jim Nill may still hold some sympathy for the Hat Trick Dick. MLive.com provided a quote from Nill via George Malik over at A2Y:
“We understand exactly what happened, but he’s also a human being which is (why) it was such a fussy issue. It was tough for him when he was younger, and maybe things didn’t turn out as he’d hoped they would.” --Jim Nill
Nill wasn't so understanding before the kid decided to run. You may (but probably don't) remember us following this story as it happened. Here's another quote from Nill via my article, "Nill's Firm Hand":
"We have talked to Dick and we want him to stay in Grand Rapids.Dick is frustrated and it's been a big change for him, both on the ice and off the ice. We've talked to him often about what is happening. He has to go through this. And every time you meet a difficulty or face resistance in life you can not give up so easily, it's not that simple. Dick will grow if he continues to fight."
Dick decided to his growing in Sweden.
But apparently, he's more mature now:
“Absolutely, I could try it again. The only thing I have to prove is that I’m more mature, and that I’m ready to take that step. That there’s still a chance. It can go well, but I wouldn’t go until I’m ready.” --Dick Axelsson
So would the Red Wings be willing to let bygones be bygones? I suppose it would be better to give him another shot than to see him succeed with another NHL franchise.
I guess we'll see.