On Friday morning, Boston GM Don Sweeney told the media that it’s “highly unlikely” veteran center Carl Soderberg is back with the Bruins next season.
Soderberg, who will turn 30 on Oct. 12, is coming off a contract that paid him only $1M per in Boston, but played well for the Bruins over the last two seasons. In 2014-15, Soderberg scored 13 goals with 31 assists and won 48.4 percent of 766 faceoffs, the second-highest number of draws on the Bruins. Listed at 6-3 and 216 pounds, he was credited with 76 hits and 36 blocked shots while averaging 16:48 per game.
He was also a key contributor on Boston’s special teams. Soderberg average 3:28 per game short-handed and another 2:00 per game on the power play in all 82 regular season games. His 5-on-5 SAT was 58.
Could Soderberg be on the Blackhawks’ radar?
The obvious consideration is the Hawks love for Swedes. But looking at dealing with restricited free agents Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger, and considering the Hawks’ cap situation, being able to get Soderberg for a modest cap number might be intriguing as Chicago GM Stan Bowman looks to bolster the center position.
Bowman told the Chicago media that the team would love to have either Brad Richards and/or Antoine Vermette back next season, but winning the Cup will undoubtedly raise their profiles in a thin free agent class.
Of course, a weak free agent class also enhances the value of Soderberg, who registered 92 points in 155 games with Boston over the last two years.