With Carl Soderberg gone, what will Bruins do with Loui Eriksson?

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With Carl Soderberg gone, what will Bruins do with Loui Eriksson?
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Carl Soderberg is 29 years old, had 13 goals and 31 assists last season as a third-liner with the Boston Bruins, and his general manager Don Sweeney says he was a “very important player” for the team. 

Of course, one of the reasons why Don Sweeney is now the general manager of the Bruins is that the team is in the seventh level of salary cap hell, and thus Soderberg will be someone else’s productive forward next season.

This has been fairly obvious for weeks, what with the Bruins having just under $7 million in cap space and 16 players under contract (yikes).

“We’re trying to plan for every circumstance that may exist,” Sweeney said, via WEEI. “Carl was a very important part of our team this year. In a perfect world, we would be able to retain Carl. It’s highly unlikely at this point in time that that will be happening relative to our overall situation.”

Ryan Spooner will replace him on the third line, which is a cheaper and potentially even more effective option.

But as Fluto Shinzawa noted in the Boston Globe earlier this month, Soderberg leaving could have an interesting domino effect involving Loui Eriksson:

Soderberg will have company leaving Boston. It could even be Eriksson, his former right wing. Eriksson was an important player for the Bruins in 2014-15. He played in all situations. But his best fit was on the third line with Soderberg. The two clicked, both in open ice and in-tight offensive-zone setups.

Without Soderberg, Eriksson’s future becomes less clear. Coach Claude Julien hasn’t liked Eriksson with Bergeron and Marchand. The initial plan was to play Eriksson with Krejci and Milan Lucic. But that fizzled when Krejci couldn’t stay out of the trainer’s room.

Eriksson is a good player, even better than Soderberg. But Eriksson is also 29. He will be unrestricted after 2015-16.

Loui Eriksson … so underrated he’s probably now overrated.

Eriksson is a very good offensive player, and there are plenty of reasons to try and make it work with him next season. From Love That Dirty Water:

While many believe that Loui Eriksson is no better than third/fourth line, his numbers prove otherwise. Having played the majority of the season on the second line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, Eriksson has done as much as we should expect from him in terms of production. 

The Bruins can get value for Eriksson and open up salary space. Putting him on the block would make sense.

In a way, you have to imagine that Peter Chiarelli getting bounced makes it safer (from a public relations standpoint) to cut ties with Eriksson. After all, it wasn’t Don Sweeney and Cam Neely that made the Tyler Seguin trade, it was that guy in Edmonton, right? All his fault, right?

Eriksson makes $4.25 million against the cap. Time to go?

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