It would appear that career Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson wants back into the NHL, and the feeling is mutual for at least a couple of teams.
Axelssons longtime agent Neil Abbott confirmed to CSNNE.com that he is talking to two NHL teams about Axelsson returning to the NHL. The 37-year-old Swedish forward spent 12 years with the Boston Bruins before leaving the NHL after scoring 30 points in the 2008-09. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Axelsson has played three seasons for Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League, including posting 14 points in each of the last two seasons while skating for his hometown team.
Axelsson played in 797 career games for the Bruins while putting up 103 goals and 184 assists, and became a dependable third line left winger known for his defensive capabilities and strong leadership qualities. In fact Axelsson has played for only the Bruins and Frolunda during his 19-year professional hockey career in a clear display of location consistency.
Abbott wouldnt confirm that the Bruins were one of the teams interested in Axelsson, but said that the amiable Swedish winger wants to finish out his hockey career playing in the NHL.
PJ would like to finish his career in the NHL and I am trying to achieve that for him, wrote Abbott in an email to CSNNE.com. I should have a better idea of what is possible by the end of July.The Swedish forward has one more year on his contract with Frolunda, but typically those deals have "out" clauses for the NHL if there are opportunities for establishedplayers like Axelsson.
Axelsson has visited the TD Garden several times over the last three years to visit his former team. The Bruins meanwhile have expressed a summer-long desire to sign a veteran top-nine Recchi-type forward that could bring leadership and grit to a Bs dressing room that was missing a little of that last season. While Axelsson isnt the grittiest player in the world he is still capable of using his good skating abilities and strong defensive instincts to enjoy success in Claude Juliens offensive and defensive systems.
The Swedish sports news periodical Expressen.se had the original report that NHL teams were interested in Axelssons services.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while watching the Montreal Canadiens crash and burn in the Atlantic Division.
*Max Pacioretty is certainly falling on his sword up in Montreal calling himself “the worst one on the ice” as the Habs really struggle to get going this season.
*Brad Marchand was on the Twitter machine after Thursday night’s win and having some fun with what his video game controller probably looks like when he plays hockey.
*Pro Hockey Talk has the details of the Erik Gudbranson boarding hit on Frank Vatrano from last night that looks like it’s going to get the Vancouver D-man suspended.
*Oliver Ekman-Larsson is still adjusting to the changes that are taking place with the Arizona Coyotes as they struggle in the desert.
*The Maple Leafs are looking and acting like contenders early on up in Toronto, and that would be a very good thing for the NHL.
*For something completely different: The Backstreet Boys are going country? Now I’ve definitely seen it all.
BRIGHTON, Mass – Another serious injury has hit the Bruins in the first few weeks of the season.
Adam McQuaid’s right leg is broken, he'll have surgery Monday and he’ll miss some significant time after he blocked a shot that knocked him out of the Thursday night victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The rugged, stay-at-home defenseman took multiple pucks of in successive games off his leg in the past two games against the Golden Knights and the Canucks.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney, in a Bruins statement released after practice Friday, said McQuaid sustained a broken right fibula and is scheduled to have surgery on Monday at Mass. General Hospital. He is expected to miss approximately eight weeks.
It’s a tough blow for McQuaid, 31, after he was able to play 77 games last season before missing the playoffs with an injury and has consistently battled injuries in his career while playing a hard-nosed, fearless brand of hockey.
“Adam [McQuaid] is seeing the doctors as we speak, so there will be an announcement about him,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said earlier Friday at practice. “With Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] it’s a maintenance day where we felt it would be better after 20 minutes of ice to let it rest, and the same with [David] Krejci. Miller is a maintenance day as well. He got whacked, but he should be fine as well. We’ll have a better idea in the morning, but we expect all of the [maintenance players] to play.”
Bergeron, David Krejci and Kevan Miller were all missing from practice on Friday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, but it was maintenance days for all as they’re expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.
Tuukka Rask is out indefinitely while in the concussion protocol after his practice collision earlier this week, but the good news is that Bruins goaltender was up and around at the practice facility on Friday rather than at home convalescing in a dark room.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the Black and Gold with a few bodies missing from practice: