( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Yesterday per reports from New England Hockey Journal contributor Mark Divver and the European hockey website Expressen.se, former Providence Bruins captain Paul Carey is leaving North America for the Swedish Hockey League. Carey has reportedly signed a one-year contract for the upcoming 2021/22 season with the Stockholm Djurgardens club, a team that went 17-26-5-4 in 52 regular-season games under Head Coach Barry Smith missing the playoffs this spring. Paul played the last two seasons with the top minor-pro affiliate of the Boston Bruins, posting 26-27-53 numbers in 82 games.

The 32-year-old original Mayor of Weymouth, Massachusetts, was originally drafted in the fifth round 0f the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. After spending several seasons with the Avalanche organization, primarily with the American Hockey League Lake Erie Monsters, Carey was traded back home to Boston in the spring of 2015 as the Bruins acquired him and Max Talbot from the Avs for forward Jordan Caron and a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft per the Bruins official website. Carey played in 17 games for the Providence Bruins after the trade, contributing 2-5-7 totals, but his stay in the Bruins organization would be cut short as he and the Bruins couldn’t come to terms on an extension. In July of 2015, Paul signed as a free agent with the Washington Capitals and would have to wait another four seasons before making a trip back to his home New England area.

In January of 2019, Carey would end up back with the Bruins via trade when the NHL club traded defenseman Cody Goloubef to the Ottawa Senators, sending Paul back to Boston for a second tour of duty. Upon his arrival back to the AHL with the Providence club, Carey was named team Captain, and the choice for leadership under a Jay Leach coaching staff was second to none. Although Paul only got into three total games for the Bruins at the NHL level, he left a lasting impression with younger players looking to him for inspiration as a hockey veteran who appeared in 100 career games at the highest level in the world. Many younger Boston prospects have mentioned Carey’s name in praise as they were making their NHL debuts, saying they wouldn’t have this opportunity without the and guidance of their Providence captain.

Before leaving North America for the big ice of European hockey, Carey played in 428 career AHL games where he posted 132-163-295 numbers and at the NHL level, got to see action in 100 career games going 8-8-16 offensively in his appearances. As a pro hockey player that seems to get better as he ages, this is a tremendous experience for him and also a common path for players to continue the dream of playing professional hockey regardless of what part of the world that particular league is in.

Stockholm’s Sports Manager Joakim Eriksson had these quotes below in an interview on the official Djurgardens team website, “It feels very good to have agreed on a one-year contract with Paul Carey. Paul has many years of experience playing in North America with 100 NHL games and over 400 AHL games on his account. We have received good references from Boston’s organization about Paul as a person and his informal leadership, which matches our ambition to strengthen the team with more players who can contribute with informal leadership.”

“As a player, Paul has an explosive skating. He is strong over the puck and careful in his decisions with the puck. He is also in a typically North American way good in the game around goals, and has a good shot”, adding that “It is a type of player that has been prioritized to identify and recruit. Paul is an offensive player with good skating, good speed, and has an ability to challenge his player. At the same time, he takes responsibility for the work without the puck, is right on the court, and reads the game very well.”

The nine-year North American pro had these quotes to say in an interview seen HERE and below before he and his family make their way overseas to the Scandinavian country for the upcoming season that starts in September of 2021. “I know what it takes to get to the NHL. Now I will enter my tenth season as a professional hockey player, it gives me a good knowledge of what you need to live up to as a professional. Hopefully, my experience can help shape some of the younger players.”

“What I of course know is that Djurgården has won the most Swedish Championship gold of all teams. I do not know much about Swedish hockey, more than the obvious that the ice is bigger than in North America. However, I have heard about the structure of the game and understood that the size of the ice makes hockey a little more defensively balanced.”

” Playing for a club with such a strong historical foundation means that I have a responsibility. A responsibility to the city and to the team to contribute my best self on the ice, every day. It will be an honor to be able to put on the Djurgård shirt and play in front of the league’s best audience.”