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Monday, 11 May 2015 15:32

Niklas Svedberg Signs Deal With Russian Team

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In addition to a new general manager and possibly a new head coach, the Boston Bruins will also be on the lookout for a new backup goalie for the 2015-16 season.

Niklas Svedberg, who was the backup goaltender for Tuukka Rask last season, has decided to sign a one-year contract with Salavat Yulaev of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).  Svedberg would have been a restricted free agent this offseason, but chose to leave the NHL for a fresh start in the KHL.

With the Bruins desperately trying to make a playoff push in the second half of the season, Svedberg rarely saw any ice time in 2015.  Svedberg appeared in just 18 games for Boston, making 14 starts, amassing a 7-5-1 record with a 2.33 GAA.  He did pick up two shutouts on the season, but failed to impress during the course of the season, struggling at times to make routine saves and never stringing together a stretch of solid play in his limited opportunities.

Svedberg was in his third season in the Bruins organization, after signing a free agent contract with the team in May 2012.  He had a breakout season in 2012-13 for Providence, winning the AHL's Baz Bastien award for the league's best goaltender, becoming the first rookie since 1995 to obtain that honor.  He was 37-8-2 in 48 games in Providence with a 2.17 GAA and four shutouts in his first year, making the All-Star Game as the starting goalie for the East Team.  He was also named to the All-Rookie Team and First All-Star Team.

He was 25-15-4 in 2013-14 for the P-Bruins with a 2.63 GAA and two shutouts.  He made his NHL debut for the Bruins on January 2, 2014, picking up the win in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators.  He also appeared in two games as the primary backup during that season, before being promoted to full-time backup after training camp prior to last season.

The Bruins still have some internal options that they could explore to solve the issue of backup goaltender next season.  Malcolm Subban, who was the Bruins' first round pick in 2012, played well in Providence this season, but had one disastrous start for Boston in which he gave up three goals in an 11-minute span before being pulled in the second period against the St. Louis Blues.  Jeremy Smith shared the starting spot in Providence with Subban, leading the P-Bruins in wins with a 22-11-5 record and a solid 2.05 GAA. 

Zane McIntyre, who just completed his junior year at North Dakota, could be in the mix in the future as well.  McIntyre, who was drafted by the Bruins in 2010, was a finalist this year for the Hobey Baker award, given to the best college hockey player.  He was 29-10-3 with a 2.05 GAA for North Dakota this season, and led his team to the Frozen Four before losing to Boston University in the national semifinals.  McIntyre was also recently in the news for escorting one of his biggest fans, a teenager who was born with cerebral palsy, to her prom in Warren, MN.

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.