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Axelsson signs on with Frolunda

Tuesday, 07.28.2009 / 3:00 PM / 2009 NHL Offseason News

NHL.com

"Anyone who was part of our hockey club and was inside the dressing room understood what "Axie" meant to our hockey club. He was a great leader. He is a great team person and … he served us well in all areas."
-- Bruins coach Claude Julien

Veteran Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson has left the NHL, signing a four-year deal with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League.

Axelsson, who was Boston's longest-tenured player, established himself as one the league's top defensive forwards during his 11-year run with the team. The 34-year old tallied 103 goals and 184 assists over his career.

"First and foremost, he had very good leadership skills," Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli told the team's web site. "He's never been an elite player, but he’s a player that plays careful attention to the details of the game and he's garnered a lot of respect as a result."

"He's a tremendous defensive player, very smart, and he played hurt a lot, so he gave us some tremendous service," he said.

"Obviously, he meant a lot [to the Bruins]," B's head coach Claude Julien said. "Anyone who was part of our hockey club and was inside the dressing room understood what "Axie" meant to our hockey club. He was a great leader. He is a great team person and … he served us well in all areas."

Although Axelsson is locked in with Frolunda next season, he could legally return to the NHL starting in 2011 if a deal presented itself.
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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp