Report: P.J. Axelsson eyes NHL return
P.J. Axelsson, a Swedish hockey player who played for the Boston Bruins for 11 years, may be looking to add to that number of years. Axelsson currently plays in Sweden, but there has been a lot of talk of late that the 37-year-old is looking to complete his professional career in the NHL.
The Bruins are the only NHL team that Axelsson played for, but he left Boston in favor of the Swedish elite league in 2009. During Axelsson’s eleven-year tenure as a Bruin left wing he accumulated 103 goals and 184 assists in a total of 797 games played.
For Frölunda HC, he contributed 61 goals and 68 assists in 299 games. Needless to say, Axelsson has performed very well in his 18 seasons as a professional hockey player. While he does have the ability to score goals, he is better known as a defending attacker, able to help and participate on both ends of the ice.
As a Boston fan favorite, many Bostonians are hoping that the return to the NHL for Axelsson means a return to Boston. Sources such as CSNNE.com claim that “the Bruins have expressed a summer-long desire to sign a veteran top-nine ‘Recchi-type’ forward that could bring leadership and grit to a B’s dressing room that was missing a little of that last season.”
Axelsson could quite possibly be that person for the Bruins; however, Axelsson’s agent Neil Abbott has yet to comment on which two NHL teams are in the hunt for Axelsson.
The Bruins 2011-12 season finished earlier than expected after winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. After losing to the Capitals in the first round of the playoffs in April, the Bruins had some serious self-reflection to do in order to see what went wrong.
Many blamed the players’ fatigue, lack of excitement and lack of passion to defend the cup for the team’s loss in the playoffs. The Bruins’ interest in a veteran forward could signify a desire to back some passion and some “grit” to the locker room.
As for right now, all Boston fans can do is wait and hope that Axelsson returns to the team that he gave so much to for eleven years.