Over the next couple weeks we will be looking at Detroit Red Wings’ players who are becoming Unrestricted Free Agents this summer and deciding whether Red Wings should re-sign them or cut them loose.
HEIGHT: 6′ 2″
CAP HIT: $3,000,000
STATS: 3 points (1 goals, 2 assists) / 26 games played
The Detroit Red Wings signed Mikael Samuelsson to a two-year six million dollar deal just before the lockout as an insurance policy in case Damien Brunner‘s transition to the NHL did no go smoothly. The Red Wings lost Tomas Holmstrom in the off-season, as well, and were not sure Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar were ready for a role with Detroit.
Samuelsson was with Detroit during their Cup winning season in 2008 and their Cup losing season in 2009, so the Detroit Red Wings thought they knew what they were getting in the aging forward.
Unfortunately for the Red Wings, Samuelsson’s time in Detroit was filled with injuries and ineffective play. He spent most of this past season as a healthy scratch and the only player to miss as many games as Samuelsson was Stephen Weiss, who spent most of the season out with a hernia injury.
Samuelsson even spent two in the AHL with the Griffins, where he was ineffective as well.
In total of a hundred and thirty possible regular season NHL games, Samuelsson only played thirty and during that time he was only able to contribute four points for Detroit.
“I was hoping and believe I have something more to give, but at the same time when the young guys came in they definitely deserved a chance to play. They played so good then it became a tough spot for the management. I guess I was the odd man out. From my standpoint I didn’t like what was going on.”
The Red Wings did not like what Sammy was doing on the ice and the younger players not only outplayed him, but lapped him.
Samuelsson is now thirty-seven and coming off another injury, in a season where he was ineffective when healthy. Detroit should not even look back as they walk away from Samuelsson and the horrendous deal they signed him too.