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A Change of Scenery Should Spark Soderberg

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
When asked if a change of scenery would be good for both players involved in Monday's trade between Boston and St. Louis, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he believed that to be the case -- particularly for Hannu Toivonen.

"That is a good point," said Chiarelli to a reporter during the conference call announcing the trade.  "At the end of the day new scenery would probably help him."

And from St. Louis' point of view, the same could be said of Soderberg -- who returned to Sweden and had his 2006-07 season shortened by injury.

"Sometimes that's how trades are made," explained the Bruins GM.  "You get two people who are in need of a change of scenery.

"From an outsider looking in at Soderberg, who was supposed to make the Blues this year, and then seeing where he is today, yah I can see that (him needing a change)."

Soderberg is quite lucky to be seeing anything after suffering an eye contusion, but tests have verified that the forward is ready to go.

"With respect to his eye injury, it was a heavy contusion in the spring," said Chiarelli. "He was examined by Dr. Chang, an independent eye doctor, this past Monday, and our eye doctor consulted with Dr. Chang and was satisfied with his recovery. 

"He will have 20-80 vision in that eye, but there are a lot of players that play with 20-80 vision in the league.

"He was given a clean bill of health and is on the road to recovery," he said.

Further questioned about Soderberg's status, Chiarelli repeated that his sight should not be a factor.

"It was a contusion and there was damage," he said. "That happens to a lot of players…He has 20-80 vision right now and is (the same) vision that, for example, Dany Heatley has. 

"When we acquired him (when I was) in Ottawa, we basically went through the same process with the eye doctors and consulting.

"So he was given a clean bill of health to continue on with his recovery, and (we) fully expect him to be ready for camp," said Chiarelli.

In Bruins camp, Soderberg is expected to make an impression -- most probably on opposing players.

"He has some considerable size and that was something we have been looking for too - something we felt there was a need for," said Chiarelli. "So, he is a versatile player, he is a natural center, but his size and stature made him attractive to us.

"He was dominating a couple of World Juniors ago, where he did both. 

"But I would say he is more of a playmaker.  He is heavy and strong on the puck.  He protects it very well, and that allows him to create scoring chances and plays," he said.

The Bruins GM did acknowledge that the Bruins were taking on some risk, but also said, that from St. Louis' point of view (given Hannu's injury two seasons ago and his NHL numbers this past campaign), so were they.

"Certainly it was something we discussed," he said, "the risks we were both taking, but at the end of the day we figured it was equal for both of us." 

That was a dominant theme in this trade discussion explained Chiarelli.

"Hey, here is a guy that (the Blues) had very high expectations for…maybe not an elite player, but a very good player. 

"(And) on the flip side, with Hannu, we have seen him play and be outstanding at certain times…so yah, there is risk.

"You always value your players higher (but) at some point you have to reach a happy medium." 

Obviously the Bruins think the risk is a calculated one.

"He kind of went under the radar a little bit," said Chiarelli. "Carl is a very good player, and he is still very young."
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