BOSTON (CBS) — Last week, Carl Soderberg created quite the buzz in Boston with news that he’d like to join the Bruins as soon as his playoff run in Sweden ended. Since then, Chris Kelly broke his tibia, opening up a spot on the Bruins third line for the big-bodied forward.

Just days later, it looks like that move from Sweden to Boston may happen sooner than expected, as Soderberg was issued a seven-game suspension for a cross-check to the head of an opponent during the opening game of his Linkopings’ playoff series against HV71.

Linus Hugosson of Pro Hockey Magazine clarified the suspension, saying three games are converted to fines, which makes it just a four-game suspension.

Late in what would be a 6-0 loss for Linkopings, Soderberg was engaged in a lengthy battle with an HV71 opponent. After that player face-washed Soderberg with his glove for a good few seconds, Soderberg responded with a cross-check to the side of the head of the opposing player.

The suspension will leave Linkopings without its top scorer and the No. 1 goal-scorer in the entire Swedish Elite League. While that’s bad news for Linkopings, it could be good news for the Bruins.

The reports last week said that Soderberg would join the Bruins once his season was over in Sweden, with general manager Peter Chiarelli telling The Boston Globe, “I wish them well, because they’ve been great to deal with. On the same hand, I’d like the player.”

With Linkopings without its best player and already in a 1-0 series hole, that could come sooner than expected. At least for the time being, that HV71 club has a growing fan base in the Boston area this week.


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