|Chris Kelly glad he wasn’t among Bruins traded (and one last Carl Soderberg story)||09.03.15 at 4:06 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — If someone were to tell you the Bruins would be trading three forwards this offseason, it would be reasonable to figure Chris Kelly would be one of them.
He isn’t a bad player — contrary to what folks who listen to talk radio more than they listen to games will tell you, he’s a fine bottom-sixer who could once again perform well in a contract year — but if the Bruins wanted to cut costs, trading his $3 million cap hit would be a viable option.
Really, the Bruins could still trade Kelly if they want to sign another free agent (Cody Franson remains unsigned), but for now it appears Kelly will play out the final year of his four-year contract. That’s the way he wants it.
“I’m happy to be back, obviously,” Kelly said after Thursday’s informal skate at Ristuccia Arena. “Boston’s a great place. We’ve got a great team. We’re excited to start up. You hit that point where you just want camp to start and you want some games to come and then the season to start. I think we’re all anxious to get rolling again.”
Kelly submitted his list of eight teams to which he’d accept a deal this offseason. It is unknown whether Don Sweeney tried aggressively to move him over the summer; Kelly said he tried not to think about the possibility.
“Wondering does you nothing,” he said. “Moves can happen to anyone at any time. I think management’s job is to make your team better, and they’re going to make the moves that they feel are going to make the team better. Me wondering at home isn’t going to serve anyone any good.”
Kelly, who turns 35 in November, would figure to center the fourth line this season. He scored just seven goals in 80 games last season, and though he did light the lamp 20 times in the last time he was in a contract year (2011-12), it’s unlikely he could return to that production given that he could end up playing with Zac Rinaldo.
Soderberg strikes one last time
Thanks to Kelly, we can add one last bit to the legend of Carl Soderberg’s three years in Boston.
Soderberg, a native of Sweden who’s fluent in English, is as nice a guy as you’ll meet, but he also has a really dry sense of humor. His quirks showed throughout his time as a Bruin.
He once ended a very short media session in the 2013 playoffs by announcing he had to take a shower. Another time he said he couldn’t talk because he was going to go buy a car, and, when asked the next day how he fared, was stone-faced in responding, ‘I don’t have a car.’ When Matt Bartkowski asked the sharp-dressed Soderberg after one practice if he was going to church, Soderberg had no reaction.
The Bruins traded Soderberg’s rights to the Avalanche prior to the draft, with Soderberg promptly cashing in with a five-year, $23.75 million deal.
“Good for Carl for getting rewarded for his play,” Kelly said Thursday. “He’s another guy who was a great teammate and a friend.”
When Kelly texted his linemate of two seasons to congratulate him on the new deal, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Soderberg did not respond for some reason.
“I think Carl changed his number quite quick because I sent him a note,” Kelly said with a grin. “Otherwise, he just forgot about all his old teammates, because I sent him a note to congratulate him and I don’t know.”
Soderberg and Kelly complemented one another well. When jokingly asked if he’d be able to carry on without Soderberg, Kelly responded, “Will Carl be able to carry on?”
The Avalanche are in town on Nov. 12.
|Carl Soderberg signs with Avalanche||06.26.15 at 11:46 am ET|
A day after trading for his rights, the Avalanche have signed Carl Soderberg to a five-year deal, according to reports from ESPN.com.
Craig Custance and Pierre LeBrun reported Friday morning that Soderberg’s deal carries an annual $4.75 million cap hit and has a full no-trade clause over its first two years before becoming a partial no-trade.
The Bruins notified Soderberg this offseason that they would not be offering him a new contract due to cap constraints. In exchange for his rights, Boston got back its own 2016 sixth-round pick, which was traded to Colorado at last season’s trade deadline in the Max Talbot deal.
Ryan Spooner is expected to replace Soderberg as the Bruins’ third-line center. Spooner is coming off his entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent on July 1. He is expected to sign a short-term deal.
|Bruins trade Carl Soderberg’s rights to Avalanche||06.25.15 at 5:10 pm ET|
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Bruins traded center Carl Soderberg’s right to the Avalanche Thursday, officially concluding a three-year marriage that ended when the team told him weeks ago that they wouldn’t be offering him a contract for next season.
By trading Soderberg’s rights, the Bruins get an asset, however small, in exchange for essentially nothing. The pick is Boston’s 2016 sixth-rounder, which was sent to Colorado at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Jordan Caron to Colorado and Maxime Talbot to Boston. The Avalanche, meanwhile, will have a six-day head start to sign Soderberg before he reaches unrestricted free agency on July 1.
Though he struggled down the stretch this season, Soderberg will be one of the top players in free agency should he make it there. With the center pool extremely thin this summer, Sodergberg figures to command a hefty raise from the $1,008,333 cap hit he had over the course of a three-year deal signed when he came to Boston from Sweden during the lockout-shortened 2013 season. With the Bruins strapped for cap space, his departure seemed inevitable.
In that sense, the Bruins might be kicking themselves for not getting more for Soderberg when they could have. Boston was sitting in the second and final Wild Card spot leading up to the NHL trade deadline on March 2. Rather than throwing in the towel and trading players for assets (Soderberg likely would have fetched the Bruins a first-round pick and possibly more), the Bruins opted to keep their players and try to make the playoffs.
The circumstances were tricky, as then-general manager Peter Chiarelli knew he needed to make the playoffs in order to keep his job, but he wasn’t allowed to be a major buyer due the organization’s decision to not trade away future assets. Given that the B’s ended up missing the playoffs, the end result in hindsight was a blown opportunity on the part of management.
In 161 career regular-season games for the Bruins, Soderberg had 29 goals and and 65 assists for 94 points. His first real contribution to the Bruins came when he was forced into the Stanley Cup Final due to Patrice Bergeron‘s injuries, with Soderberg dressing in a pair of games against the Hawks despite having just six NHL games under his belt to that point.
That 2013 season burned the first year of his deal, with the Bruins starting Soderberg at left wing the following season. Soderberg proved far more productive at center once the B’s moved him to his natural position midway through the 2013-14 season, skating Chris Kelly alongside him take down-low responsibilities in Boston’s zone. Soderberg worked well in tandem with Loui Eriksson, who returned to being a 20-goal scorer last season with a full year as Soderberg’s linemate.
The Bruins acquired Soderberg, who was originally drafted 49th overall by the Blues in 2004, in a 2007 trade that sent goaltender Hannu Toivonen to St. Louis. Soderberg’s rights were deemed expendable by the Blues because the player had opted to remain in his home country of Sweden, where he continued to play professionally before finally leaving for the NHL in 2013.
Soderberg expressed a strong desire to stay in Boston, but he plans to play in the NHL next season regardless of location. A return to Sweden is not expected, as he figures to have ample suitors.
|Don Sweeney says ‘highly unlikely’ Bruins bring back Carl Soderberg, offers ‘no comment’ on Dougie Hamilton||06.19.15 at 11:34 am ET|
Carl Soderberg appears to be the latest casualty of the Bruins’ salary cap crunch.
The 29-year-old center had 13 goals and 31 assists this year while playing in all 82 games, playing out the final year of a three-year, $3 million contract. Soderberg will be looking for a big pay day as an unrestricted free agent.
The Bruins have just 16 players signed on their current roster and project to have $6.531 million in cap space remaining. Don Sweeney, preparing for his first NHL draft as general manager, knows he’s up against it.
“We’re trying to plan for every circumstance that may exist,” Sweeney said on a conference call Friday with reporters. “Carl was a very important part of our team this year. In a perfect world, we would be able to retain Carl. It’s highly unlikely at this point in time that that will be happening relative to our overall situation.”
With that eventuality in mind, the Bruins signed forward Joonas Kemppainen on May 21 to a one-year, two-way contract which would be worth a cap figure of $700,000 at the NHL level.
The 27-year-old played 59 games for Oulun Karpat in the Finnish Elite League during the 2014-15 season and recorded 11 goals, 21 assists and a plus-15 rating. In 19 playoff games for Karpat this year, the forward potted 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points with a plus-14 rating. Kemppainen also competed in this year’s IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship where he ranked third on the Finnish team in goals (three), second in assists (six) and second in points (nine) in eight games played.
“I think Joonas represents a player of similar nature, similar skill set. He’s a big strong player,” Sweeney said. “He’s responsible. He’s 27 years old so he’s been through the pro ranks and he’s ready for it. He’s got some heaviness to his game. Look at his offensive production, it was pretty darned good this year in particular but really the last couple of year, he’s been very, very consistent and he rolled that right over to world championship, where again he was both very reliable, accountable as a two-player but also produced offensively, which is huge, huge for us.”
|Bruins won’t bring back Carl Soderberg||06.08.15 at 12:14 pm ET|
Carl Soderberg’s time with the Bruins is done, as agent J.P. Barry confirmed a Boston Globe report that the team will not be making an offer to the 29-year-old center.
The Bruins don’t have much wiggle room given their salary cap situation. As such, they informed Barry that they won’t be able to make the player a legitimate offer given their current status. Boston’s next move regarding Soderberg should be to trade his rights to a team hoping to sign him before free agency begins. Teams typically receive draft pick compensation in such moves.
Soderberg played out the final year of a three-year, $3.025 million contract with the Bruins and will become a free agent on July 1. He will be considered among the best free-agent centers available, along with Chicago’s Antoine Vermette.
With Soderberg gone, Ryan Spooner will become the favorite to slide into the vacancy at third line center. Alexander Khokhlachev also figures to be in the mix.
In 161 career regular season games with the Bruins, Soderberg scored 29 goals and added 65 assists for 94 points. He had one goal and five assists for six points in 14 playoff games.
In other Bruins news, the team announced the signing of Providence College center Noel Acciari on Monday. For more on Acciari, click here.
For more Bruins new, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins won’t re-sign Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille||04.13.15 at 12:23 pm ET|
Much of the conversation of Monday’s breakup day at TD Garden revolved around the future of the Bruins. Some current players won’t be part of it.
Paille and Campbell have already been notified that they won’t be back. Bartkowski has not yet been told whether he’ll be offered a contract. Soderberg will not return to Sweden. He’d like to stay with the Bruins, but he would get more money and opportunity elsewhere.
The free agents are just part of the equation. Especially if Peter Chiarelli is to be relieved of his duties, trades could be a big part of this offseason. The biggest name to watch in that regard is that of Milan Lucic. The 26-year-old left wing is entering the final year of his three-year, $18 million contract, and though he wants to stay, that might not be the right business move for the Bruins.
“I like to think that I’m worth it,” Lucic said of his contract. “I showed in the past that I earned the deal that I’m currently on with my play on the ice. That’s one of the things that I have to do in order to [get another big contract] moving forward. I have to prove that I’m still worth that, and you have to prove that by your play on the ice.
“I still believe I can bring a lot to the table as a player. I plan on doing that moving forward.”
Lucic’s modified no-trade clause allows him to submit a list of 15 teams to which he would accept a trade. He is coming off an 18-goal season, marking the second time in the last three seasons that he has averaged less than 0.25 goals per game. Lucic scored at a 0.37 goals per game rate in his 30-goal 2010-11 campaign.
|5 things we learned as Bruins score 3 straight to beat Red Wings||04.02.15 at 10:15 pm ET|
Zach Trotman picked a perfect time for his first NHL goal, as he gathered the puck after his point shot was blocked and sent it past Petr Mrazek to cap the Bruins’ come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Red Wings. The Bruins pulled out the victory by scoring three unanswered goals in the third period after the Red Wings built a 2-0 lead.
With the win, the Bruins pulled even with the Red Wings with 93 points for the third playoff spot in the Atlantic Division, though Detroit has five games remaining to Boston’s four. The teams are even in regulation and overtime wins (the first tiebreaker), but the Bruins now own the second tiebreaker after winning the season series against the Red Wings.
The Senators beat the Lightning in overtime later in the evening, keeping the Senators within three points of the B’s and Wings.
As the Red Wings dominated the first two periods, Tuukka Rask kept the game within reach for the B’s. His efforts were eventually rewarded when, after Detroit made it 2-0 with a Stephen Weiss power-play goal, Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson scored 31 seconds apart. Reilly Smith earned the primary assist on both goals.
Trotman made it 3-2 with 3:08 remaining, and a too-many-men penalty for Detroit with 47.2 while trying to play 6-on-5 sealed Boston’s fourth straight win.
Brett Connolly, who made his Bruins debut, assisted both Trotman’s game-winner and Carl Soderberg’s power-play goal in the third for a two-point night.
Here are four more things we learned Thursday:
BERGERON LEAVES, RETURNS
Patrice Bergeron played only one shift in the second period, and he appeared to get injured on it following a faceoff against Luke Glendening. During a battle for the puck, Justin Abdelkader’s stick appeared to get Bergeron somewhere in the face.
Bergeron would return to the game for the start of the third period wearing a full shield. He tripped Glendening 58 seconds into the period, setting a new career high in penalty minutes with 44 on the season.