BREAKING: Blues deal Söderberg to Bruins for goaltender Toivonen

By Brian Weidler, "Game Time" Prospect Columnist

ST. LOUIS, July 23, 2007 -- Blues' President John Davidson today announced that the Blues have acquired goaltender Hannu Toivonen from the Boston Bruins, in exchange for prospect Carl Söderberg.

Toivonen, a 23-year old, 6'2, 200-pound native of Kalvola, Finland, was Boston's first-round choice (29th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He has been solid in three seasons with Providence of the AHL (117 GP, 57-47-8 record, 11 SO, 2.21 GAA and .923 save percentage), and has appeared in 38 NHL games in the last two years. In that span, Toivonen is 12-14-5 with one shutout, a 3.32 GAA, and .896 save percentage.

The big Finn missed the last half of the 2005-06 season after suffering an ankle injury in January 2006, but has been injury-free since then. He split the 2006-07 season between Boston and Providence, appearing in 10 NHL games before the first of the year, and eight contests in the latter half of the season after essentially losing the battle for the Bruins' starting job to veteran Tim Thomas. The Bruins' recent trade for Manny Fernandez, and the development of Toivonen's countryman Tuukka Rask, made Toivonen expendable in Beantown.

Söderberg, a 21-year-old, 6'2, 200-pound center from Malmö, Sweden, was the Blues' second-round pick (49th overall) in the 2004 Entry Draft. He has been projected as a potential first- or second-line playmaking center since the day the Blues drafted him, but there have been some issues first with getting him to North America, and then with keeping him here. Söderberg was in the Blues' Development Camp and regular Training Camp last season, and was ticketed to start the season in Peoria to continue his development before balking at the assignment and invoking a clause in his contract that allowed him to return to Sweden.

The decision to return home turned out to be a fateful one for the young Swede, as he suffered a season-ending eye injury in early February, putting the brakes on what was looking like a breakout season in Malmö's first year at the Elitserien level.

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Hannu Toivonen
Goaltender, catches left. 6-02, 200 pounds.
Born May 18, 1984 in Kalvola, Finland.
Boston's 1st choice, 29th overall, in 2002 Entry Draft

Regular Season...... GP W. L. T. Mins Shts GA. GAA. Sv %
==================== == == == == ==== ==== === ==== ====
06-07 Boston NHL.... 18 .3 .9 .1 .894 .502 .63 4.23 .875
06-07 Providence AHL 27 13 13 .1 1618 .702 .64 2.37 .909
05-06 Boston NHL.... 20 .9 .5 .4 1163 .590 .51 2.63 .914
04-05 Providence AHL 54 29 18 .3 3017 1507 103 2.05 .932
03-04 Providence AHL 36 15 16 .4 2162 1055 .83 2.30 .921
02-03 HPK Finland... 24 16 .2 .4 1432 .... .54 2.26 ....
01-02 HPK Jr Finland 31 15 12 .4 1877 1062 103 3.29 .903

Playoffs............ GP W. L. T. Mins Shts GA. GAA. Sv %
==================== == == == == ==== ==== === ==== ====
06-07 Boston NHL.... .. .. .. .. .... .... ... .... ....
06-07 Providence AHL 13 .6 .7 .. .742 .349 .36 2.91 .897
05-06 Boston NHL.... .. .. .. .. .... .... ... .... ....
04-05 Providence AHL 17 10 .7 .. 1038 .547 .42 2.42 .923
03-04 Providence AHL .. .. .. .. .... .... ... .... ....
02-03 HPK Finland... .2 .1 .1 .. .118 .... ..3 1.52 ....
01-02 HPK Jr Finland .7 .3 .4 .. .440 .... .31 4.22 ....

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As always, remember... "If we do not prepare for ourselves the role of the hammer, there will be nothing left but that of the anvil." Auf wiedersehen.

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