Training Camp begins on Thursday, September 12th, and there is on more camp battle for us to look at, Mikael Samuelsson versus everyone.
Mikael Samuelsson’s last season can only be described as awful, for most of the season he was hurt and when he was not hurt he was ineffective on the ice.
During the off-season, Samuelsson was a main candidate for a conditional buyout, but he was hurt and the Red Wings were not able to buy him out.
Now the Red Wings are stuck with an ineffective and injury prone player that is holding up a roster space. With Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, and Joakim Andersson making the jump to the NHL, he needs to prove that he can still play and earn a spot with the team.
Training Camp is the time for him to prove he can still play and that he deserves a spot on the Red Wings’ roster.
Samuelsson is battling to play or the second, third, or fourth line because right now he is set in the position of right bench.
There is almost no shot that Samuelsson will be playing on the second line after the additions of Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson, the third line will most likely consist of the youngsters again (Andersson, Nyquist, and Tatar), and do we really want him on the fourth line?
Samuelsson will not add much speed or energy to the Wings’ fourth line and he does not kill penalties, which would make him more useless than Jordin Tootoo on that line. At least Tootoo is a north-south player with speed, hitting ability, and he can fight.
Samuelsson prefers to play the puck on the outside and that does not work for a fourth liner.
There is a lot of work that Mikael Samuelsson has to put in, in order to prove that he has what it takes to play another year with the Detroit Red Wings, but right now I do not see him contributing to the team this season.
Whether that means he will be sent down to the AHL, traded to another team, or sitting in the press box for the year is to be seen.