Soderberg as a Bruin? Just what the doctor ordered
At long last, the Bruins have their man. ESPN reported early Tuesday that Carl Soderberg‘s deal with the Bruins has been agreed upon with his release from his Swedish team, Linkoping, finally. The Bruins have been rumored to be pursuing Soderberg for weeks now.
The Bruins have had a long love affair with Soderberg since acquiring him nearly six years ago and have been pushing for the forward to leave Europe for the NHL since then. Now is as good a time as any; Soderberg has been having a career season in the Swedish Elite League with 31 goals and 60 points in 54 games, not to mention the size the 27-year-old would bring to the Bruins offense at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds.
There’s still a few complications with bringing Soderberg stateside, so the saga isn’t over yet. The Swedish Ice Hockey Association still has to approve Soderberg’s transfer to the Bruins and the NHL. According to ESPN, if and when that happens, Soderberg only has to play in one regular season game to be eligible Stanley Cup playoffs. The Bruins acquired Soderberg way back in the summer of 2007, so because they owned his rights and technically had him on their reserve list, his eligibility is in tact.
If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Basically, as long as Soderberg joins the team for a single regular season game once approved by the Swedish Ice Hockey Association, he’s as much of a Bruin as Zdeno Chara and the Bruins newest import, Jaromir Jagr.
Bruins president Cam Neely spoke highly of the forward, but warned fans that, should everything go smoothly with getting Soderberg approved to play NHL hockey, there still may be a bit of an adjustment period for the forward.
“He’s played against men in the Swedish elite league and has had success doing it,” Cam Neely said, via ESPN. “It’s just a matter of getting adjusted to the North American style — bigger ice surface, less contact [in Europe]. But he’s a big body. He protects the puck well. He skates well. He’s got a good shot. But we have to temper this a little bit if he does get over here based on getting adjusted to this style of game.”
And even if the European game comes with less contact, Soderberg is pretty aggressive and isn’t afraid to get physical.
A hot scorer with an aggressive edge? Sounds like he could be just what the Bruins ordered, especially with Patrice Bergeron just returning to workouts and possibly a long way from playing in games due to a concussion.