Federation blocks Soderberg deal

The Swedish Ice Hockey Federation has blocked forward Carl Soderberg from joining the Boston Bruins.

Soderberg had reached an agreement Tuesday with the Bruins on a multiyear contract, and had been released by his Swedish team, Linkoping, according to a source, but the deal still had to be approved by the Swedish Hockey Federation.

It is unknown why the Federation blocked the move.

According to a source close to Soderberg, the NHL now has five days to consider the Swedes' rejection and any arguments that come with it. The NHL can still disagree with them and say the release is proper per their rules and register the contract despite the Swedes' position.

Soderberg had his best season yet in the Swedish Elite League -- 31 goals and 60 points in 54 games. Bruins president Cam Neely had said that he said he planned on giving the 27-year-old a shot to prove himself in the NHL this season and potentially play a role in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Neely had said he likes Soderberg's skill set, though he has never seen him play in person and was unsure how quickly he would pick up the American game, which is played with more physicality and on smaller ice surfaces than European hockey.

"He's played against men in the Swedish elite league and has had success doing it," Neely said. "It's just a matter of getting adjusted to the North American style -- bigger ice surface, less contact [in Europe]. But he's a big body. He protects the puck well. He skates well. He's got a good shot. But we have to temper this a little bit if he does get over here based on getting adjusted to this style of game."

Soderberg was selected 49th overall in the second round of the 2004 NHL entry draft. He has played the past two seasons with Linkoping after playing the previous four in Malmo.