The Avalanche welcomed Carl Soderberg last summer as a rare success of the new legal tampering period. As teams became able to meet with players during the last week of June, Colorado dealt this summer’s 6th round pick to the Bruins for the rights to sign him to a controversial deal - 5 years at $4.75 million AAV. (I said on the signing thread that I wish that was for 4 years, but wrote cautiously optimistically for 2015-16 here.) There were some fans who saw him as an inferior replacement for a recently-departed center, which colored their perception against him from the outset, and the rough start his year had (with too-raw Rantanen on his off-wing and Rendulic for linemates) saw some fans rankling against the new Av, but we mostly came around on him as the year went on.
MHH Survey Grade: 80.1%
Once Coach Roy started lining Soderberg up with his countryman Gabe Landeskog like we had been expecting over the summer, CARRRL produced better than he had in Boston. His 51 points through all 82 games were good for 4th on the team, and he lead the way in assists (39) and primary assists (27). But, billed as a preventer of shots, he did disappoint somewhat in that area, with a CA/60 (60.22) worse than such defensive stalwarts as Cody McLeod and John Mitchell. Funnily enough, his relative number was still the 4th best on the Avs, which shows you how far this team still needs to go.
He was even one of the better factors on the team on the power play, with 14 points up a man, 7 of which were primary assists.
Many Avs fans (and most neutral observers) appeared to expect Soderberg to take a step back with the Avalanche last season. He responded by putting up more points than the season prior and leading the team in assists. Not too shabby for a dude who can only see out of one eye.
MHH Staff Grade: B
It’s tough to disagree with you guys's letter grade here (although it DID almost miss—ya’ll hard to please). He was an important part of the offense but not quite what we wanted defensively. I stand by my skepticism about the end of his contract, and for that reason won’t get overly upset if Vegas takes him in an expansion draft, but for right now, Carl Soderberg had a pretty good season with the Avalanche.