What’s old is new again in the Motor City.
That’s because a former Red Wing — Mikael Samuelsson — is back in Detroit, having signed a two-year, $6 million contract. The deal has an average annual cap hit of $3 million and includes a full no-trade clause.
Samuelsson spent four years in Detroit following the lockout, winning a Cup in ’08 before losing in the finals the year after. While his highest offensive outputs were with Vancouver — including a 30-goal effort in 2009-10 — the 35-year-old played some of his finest hockey wearing the winged wheel and was a good fit with Detroit’s puck possession style.
Samuelsson spent the second half of last season in Florida and performed strongly, scoring 28 points in 48 games before leading all Panthers with five playoff assists. GM Dale Tallon had expressed an interest in retaining his services, calling Samuelsson a “character guy” that “played well for us.”
Expect the veteran Swede to quickly mesh back into the lineup as many of the key figures from his time in Detroit — Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall — are all still with the team.