Can The Minnesota Wild Sign Carl Soderberg?


Rumors of Carl Soderberg’s departure from the Boston Bruins have grown rampant. Could the Minnesota Wild capitalize and sign the free-agent center?

Per multiple sources, including Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Boston Bruins are unlikely to re-sign bottom-6 center and pending unrestricted free-agent Carl Soderberg this offseason. This makes sense, given that the Bruins need to re-sign future All-Star defenseman Dougie Hamilton and are already tight against the Cap. Given that the Minnesota Wild are painfully thin at center and need to seek out a budget signing, Carl Soderberg might just be the guy. Let’s take a closer look at the Swedish center.

Carl Soderberg: A Brief History

Drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round, 49th overall, in the 2004 NHL entry draft, Soderberg took his time leaving Sweden for the NHL. Playing 8 seasons between the top-tier SEL and the 2nd tier Allsvenskan, Soderberg’s rights were traded from the Blues to the Bruins where he signed a 3-year contract worth $3.025 million.

Soderberg registered 48 points (16gG-32A) in 73 games during the 2013-2014 season. Last season, Soderberg registered 44 points (13g-31a) in 82 games while averaging 16:49 of ice time, largely on the 3rd and 4th line. As mentioned above, Soderberg isn’t walking from Bean Town because he’s a poor player, he’s just caught in a cap crunch.

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Consider this: Soderberg’s 44 points  last season is better than all but 4 Wild skaters. Mikko Koivu was the only Wild center with more points than Soderberg (49.) He did this all while playing limited offensive minutes on a contract worth just over $1 million per season.

At 29-years-old, Soderberg still has gas in the tank without an extensive injury history. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 198 pounds, Soderberg also has good size, something the Wild certainly like.

So, Can the Wild Sign him?

That’s a complicated question. The Wild is pretty thin at center throughout the system, so a guy like Soderberg could be a boon. I’d imagine he’s looking for a 3-4 deal worth up to 4 million per season IF he doesn’t decide to return to Sweden. It’s also worth noting that the competition for Soderberg will be stiff thanks to his young age, skills, and a thin free-agent class.

There’s no doubt that the Wild would love to pick up a player like Carl Soderberg without having to trade precious assets, but it comes down to cost.

Per HockeyBuzz, The Wild has $61 million invested in 17 players for next season, leaving about $7.1 Million in cap space. I’d imagine over 1/2 of that will go to Devan Dubnyk, who tops the Wild’s priority list. Mikael Granlund and Christian Folin are both restricted free-agents and both look like real deal players the Wild want to keep around. Unless the Wild make a trade to free up some cap space, signing those 3 players likely leaves the Wild with about $1.5 million in cap space, which they won’t want to spend given call-ups during the season.

The fact of the matter is that the Wild need help at center while trying to save cap space. As much as I like Soderberg, it’s probably just not going to work, but Shawn Matthias might be available.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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