Detroit Red Wings presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Samuelsson is thrilled to be back

Veteran forward missed camaraderie of WIngs' locker room

Monday, 07.2.2012 / 1:37 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
Share with your Friends

Samuelsson is thrilled to be back

Mikael Samuelsson collected 10 goals and 13 assists in back-to-back runs to the Stanley Cup finals for the Red Wings in 2008 and '09. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – Thought it’s been three years since he wore a Red Wings’ uniform, in some small way Mikael Samuelsson feels like he never left.

The 35-year-old forward signed a two-year free agency contract on Sunday to return to the Red Wings, who still have plenty of his friends on the NHL roster.

“The time that I was there we were in two (Stanley Cup) finals and one of them we won, so it is hard to leave, but that’s what the salary cap does to you,” said Samuelsson, who left for Vancouver and a lucrative contract in 2009. “Some players have to leave, but I definitely have a strong feeling toward the guys in the locker room and the organization as well. I knew what I wanted when I hit the market and I’m happy that they wanted me too.”

Entering his 12th NHL season, Samuelsson has played for six different clubs, producing 148 goals and 194 assists in 669 games. He was a fifth-round draft choice of the San Jose Sharks in 1998. But three years later, he was acquired by the New York Rangers, which was the first of three trades in Samuelsson’s first two NHL seasons. Then last October, he was traded for the fourth time in his career when the Canucks sent him packing for Florida. He also played a handful of games for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003.

This time, several teams showed interesting in acquiring Samuelsson, he said, but when he canvassed the offers, returning to a team, an organization, and a community which he’s very familiar with was far more attractive to him and his family.

“This doesn’t feel right now like I’m changing teams again,” said Samuelsson, in a phone interview from his home in Sweden. “It feels like I know what the organization is about, and I think I know how we play, or supposed to play, and I know the guys. It’s not going to be one of these situations where you have to take some time to adapt in a couple of weeks to learn the new guys. I know a lot of the guys in the locker room there.”

A couple of his Wings’ teammates reached out to Samuelsson on Day 1 of the NHL’s annual free agency period, namely Henrik Zetterberg, who phoned, and Niklas Kronwall who offered a congratulatory text.

“I actually talked to Hank yesterday before I signed,” Samuelsson said, “and Kronner texted me after I signed and said, ‘This will be great, it’s so nice to have you back.’ ”

Being back in an organization that makes the playoffs a prior is also a quality that helped coax Samuelsson back to Hockeytown.

“It’s a contender to win the Cup, that’s the main reason I came back,” he said. “The other reasons are that I’ve been there before and really liked it. It was a hard time when I left, but I know that I will like it again because they have a good team with hard practices and good coach and a good group of guys.”

In his first tour with the Red Wings, Samuelsson played a versatile role as a top six forward, who also averaged more than 2 ½ minutes of ice-time on the power play. He continued in a similar capacity with the Canucks, which is something that he hopes he can do again in Detroit.

“I don’t see (my role) changing too much,” Samuelsson said. “They know what kind of player I am, they know what they get from me. First of all, my thoughts are if you play good you’re going to earn your ice-time. Hopefully, my role can be what it was last time, which was being on the second line and contribute, and can be on the power play as well. I can play actually in a lot of different situations.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Site Map