BOSTON (CBS) — The myth is no more: Carl Soderberg is real, and he is a member of the Boston Bruins.
The Swedish forward skated for the first time with the Bruins this morning, as the team prepared for its game tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at the TD Garden.
While it’s clear that Soderberg, believed by fans at times to be an imaginary figure due to the never-ending rumors surrounding him, is now a member of the Bruins, he still is not quite ready to take the ice in a game.
Coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate that Soderberg won’t play Wednesday night against the Sabres, as he’ll need time to adjust to the time change and learn the team’s system.
“I think it’s as much for him as it is for us,” Julien said. “Guy flies in last night and I think there’s a change in time that comes with it, and there’s also the fatigue of the travel and everything else, just not knowing much about our system or anything else. He’s going to have a chance to watch tonight and he’ll see a lot of things, hopefully the right things. I think it’s to his benefit and it’s also to our benefit to give him that opportunity. For me, he’s got a chance of being a better player than going out there and just kind of ad-libbing and feeling like he’s lost.”
The Swedish season ended for Soderberg on April 5, when his team, Linkoping HC, was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.
Soderberg led the Swedish Elite League this season with 31 goals and finished second with 60 points in 54 games. He played center in Sweden, but with Patrice Bergeron’s return expected to come Wednesday and Chris Kelly’s return last week, Soderberg will most likely be utilized on the wing for Boston.
Soderberg is eligible to play for the Bruins for the remainder of the regular season (six games after Wednesday) and the postseason.
“He’s a big, strong guy,” Julien said. “He’s a good skater. I saw some good things. We put him on the power play there at the end, after practice, and see how he’s handling the puck. We’re trying to get a feel of what he can bring too. The feeling was pretty optimistic, I liked what I saw from him. Obviously, he’s got good size, he’s a big player. He normally plays center, he can play wing, so when the time comes we’ll make that decision on where we want to put him.”