|2013 - Carl Soderberg||8||0||2||2||-2||6||0||0||0||9|
The Carl Soderberg saga was one of the more interesting stories of the Bruins' 2013 regular season, as what was once little more than an HFBoards fever dream became reality: Soderberg signed a contract, came to North America, and played eight games (regular season and playoffs) for the Bruins.
The "SoderSaga" was made more interesting by the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation's initial refusal to allow Soderberg to leave for North America, a cold stance that only thawed when Bill Daly and the NHL intervened. It remains to be seen how the whole ordeal will impact Soderberg's standing with Tre Kronor going forward.
Once he reached the NHL and suited up for the Bruins, Soderberg did OK. Not great, not bad...just OK. He recorded nine shots on goal and tallied two assists in his eight games, earning his first career NHL point with an assist on a Jaromir Jagr goal on April 21 against the Florida Panthers; he recorded another assist in the B's next game, then went pointless in his last five appearances.
Soderberg spent the majority of this season on either the third or fourth line, but his biggest taste of NHL action came in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final.
In what was Soderberg's first-ever playoff appearance, he started the game on the fourth line but found himself centering the second line after Patrice Bergeron's game-ending injury. Skating between Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr, Soderberg played a total of 14:16, throwing two shots on goal and recording three hits.
While he didn't get a point, it was definitely his most "noticeable" game as a Bruin. After the game, his coach said he played well, and his performance showed that he could certainly skate with top-flight NHL players and not look out of place.
Bruins fans may be disappointed that he didn't make more of an impact after all of the hype, but one must consider the circumstances: six games in regular season garbage time and two playoff games aren't exactly the best time to get one's Swedish feet wet. Soderberg didn't look at all overwhelmed or intimidated by the NHL game, which should bode well for next season.
Final grade: Incomplete
Soderberg was originally going to receive a C or C+, as his play was just that: middle of the road. However, it's a bit unfair to judge a guy who has played Swedish hockey for his entire life on just eight games of North American hockey. He didn't do anything to disappoint, like look completely overwhelmed by the North American game, nor did he do anything to set the world aflame. He came over, got his taste, and will be prepared to make a bigger impact next season, when he should get more steady ice time.