Former NHL defenseman Samuelsson tapped to be next Checkers coach

The National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, the parent club of the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers, announced today that they have named former NHL Defenseman Ulf Samuelsson to be the team’s next head coach.  The announcement was made by Ron Francis, the team’s Executive Vice President and General Manager.

“Ulf has built a very strong coaching resume during a decade behind the bench in the AHL, NHL, and Swedish League. He has a proven history of helping to develop young players and understands the organizational culture that we are building here.” Francis said of Samuelsson.

Samuelsson, 52, joins the Hurricanes organization after spending three seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers, where he was part of the coaching staff that guided the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and to the 2015 Eastern Conference Final.  He also served as the head coach of Modo in the Swedish Hockey League from 2011 until 2013, leading them to consecutive playoff appearances and a record of 38-15-16-41.  The Fagersta, Sweden native spent 5 seasons as an associate coach with the Arizona Coyotes from 2006-11, where he aided in the development of current NHL players Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Zbynek Michalek, and guided the team to a franchise-record 50 win season in 2009-10.  Samuelsson broke into his coaching career in 2005 with the Hartford Wolf Pack.

He appeared in 1,080 career NHL games with Hartford, Pittsburgh, New York, Detroit, and Philadelphia, scoring 57 goals and earning 275 assists(322 points) and is ranked 26th on the NHL’s all-time list with 2,453 penalty minutes.  Originally drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the fourth round, 67th overall, of the 1982 NHL Draft, he captured consecutive Stanley Cup championships with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992 alongside Francis, represented his native Sweden in several international competitions, and appeared as an NHL All-Star during the Rendez-vous ’87 series against the Soviet National Team.

He is the father of Henrik and Philip Samuelsson, who spent the majority of last season playing together with the Springfield Falcons in the Coyotes organization, Victoria Samuelsson, who represented Sweden internationally at the junior level, and Adam Samuelsson, who has committed to play college hockey at Hockey East powerhouse Boston College.

Samuelsson only becomes the third head coach in Charlotte’s 7 seasons in the American Hockey League since joining the league in 2010, following Jeff Daniels(2010-2015), and Mark Morris(2015-16), who recently accepted the head coaching position at St. Lawrence University.