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Bruins Officially Sign Soderberg

(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

BOSTON, MA (ESPN)—Swedish star forward Carl Soderberg signed a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins on Saturday, the team announced.

Soderberg will join the team Wednesday, and has an annual cap hit of $1 million.

Soderberg previously had reached an agreement with Boston on Tuesday, but was blocked from joining the team by the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation.

According to a source, the NHL had five days to consider the rejection and any arguments that came with it. The NHL could still disagree and say the release is proper per their rules and register the contract despite the Swedes’ position.

“We are fortunate to get a player like Carl at this stage of the season,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a release. “I would like to thank the President of the Linkoping hockey club, Mike Helber and their GM, Johan Hemlin, in playing a significant part in allowing Carl to play for the Boston Bruins. Carl is a big, strong, two-way center who can also play wing. We look forward to him joining our team this week.”

Soderberg had his best season yet in the Swedish Elite League — 31 goals and 60 points in 54 games. Bruins president Cam Neely had said he planned on giving the 27-year-old a shot to prove himself in the NHL this season and potentially play a role in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Neely said he likes Soderberg’s skill set, though he has never seen him play in person and was unsure how quickly he would pick up the American game, which is played with more physicality and on smaller ice surfaces than European hockey.

“He’s played against men in the Swedish Elite League and has had success doing it,” Neely said. “It’s just a matter of getting adjusted to the North American style — bigger ice surface, less contact [in Europe]. But he’s a big body. He protects the puck well. He skates well. He’s got a good shot. But we have to temper this a little bit if he does get over here based on getting adjusted to this style of game.”

Soderberg was selected 49th overall in the second round of the 2004 NHL entry draft. He has played the past two seasons with Linkoping after playing the previous four in Malmo.

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