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.