The first two days of free agency for the Detroit Red Wings have been spent saying goodbye to a teammate, and bringing back a familiar face. The Red Wings signed former Wing Mikael Samuelsson to a two-year contract, bringing back what hopefully will lead to another run at the Stanley Cup. Samuelsson played for two Detroit teams in the Stanley Cup Finals, skating away with the Cup in the first one.
Samuelsson could hardly hide his joy regarding his return to Hockeytown. “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. “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.”
Samuelsson was an integral part of the Florida Panthers turnaround this season, and will look to get the Wings over the hump of the last couple of seasons.
Both Nicklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg are glad to have Samuelsson back, as each reached out to Mikael as he went through the free agency process.
The joy of bringing back Samuelsson quickly turned to sadness when the Calgary Flames announced they had signed Jiri Hudler to a four-year deal. Jiri spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career in Hockeytown, scoring 87 goals in the process. He has been an integral part for Detroit, especially over the last couple of seasons and will surely be missed.