Report: Avalanche planned to replace O'Reilly with Soderberg all along
Carl Soderberg was in the Colorado Avalanche's plans from the get-go.
The Avalanche moved quickly in trading for and signing the 29-year-old to a long-term deal in late June, which was all part of their replacement plan for the departed Ryan O'Reilly, reports Mike Chambers of The Denver Post:
The Avs told Soderberg he was the planned replacement for Ryan O'Reilly, who was dealt to the Buffalo Sabres on June 27 in a four-player trade. That and not having to play the free-agency game made Soderberg's choice easy.
When Soderberg found out he could potentially be on the outs with the Boston Bruins, he thought he'd hit the free agent market; an idea that scared him.
"I just didn't want to go through it, and when Joe (Sakic) and Patrick (Roy) said they were interested in me, I wanted to go to Colorado right away," said the forward. "I was waiting for Boston to come back to me. When they didn't have room for me, my agent told me Colorado was interested in me. There was no doubt for me. Colorado is a great hockey club. I said go ahead, and then everything went really fast."
Colorado signed the Swedish pivot to a five-year, $23.75-million contract, giving them a center who could play on one of their top two lines.
General manager Sakic reportedly said the plan for Soderberg is to play on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon.
Soderberg earned 44 points in 82 games for the Bruins last season.