When Ulf Samuelsson was hired in Phoenix, then head coach Wayne Gretzky said, “as a former teammate, I know firsthand how he played the game with intelligence and passion. We look forward to him working with our young defensemen and helping them develop into better players.”
Samuelsson and Gretzky were teammates throughout Gretzky’s entire time with the Rangers.
The LA Times writes that Samuelsson had a big part of keeping the spirits and morale of Phoenix players high during their ongoing ownership saga.
The Arizona Republic noted that Samuelsson was pretty much the head coach of the Coyotes during the time where Wayne Gretzky was distancing himself from the time and before Dave Tippett came aboard.
Keith Yandle told USA Today that the job Samuelsson did prior to Tippett coming in played a big role in that season, “It was like he was meant for the job. He did a great job getting us ready for the season, and we made the playoffs that year. That was a big turnaround for our team. and I think he had a lot to do with that.”
Yandle expected Samuelsson to return to the NHL as a head coach.
For more on Samuelsson and his role on Alain Vigneault’s coaching staff, CLICK HERE.
This season the Rangers will welcome Ulf Samuelsson back to the organization as an assistant coach to Alain Vigneault.
Marc Staal told the Rangers Website that he is looking forward to reconnecting with Samuelsson after they spent time together when Staal was starting his professional career in Hartford.
Samuelsson was an assistant in Hartford during the 2005-06 season and Staal played 12 playoff games for the Wolf Pack after his season in Sudbury ended.
Staal said that even during their short time together, Ulf gave him some important tips and is a guy that knows what he is talking about.
He added that he thinks having Ulf around will pay “big dividends” for all the defensemen on the Rangers roster and will be able to relate to the players since he understands the day in and day out grind of being an NHL defenseman.
7:26AM: In Expressen, via nyrs_rangers, Samuelsson will also run the Rangers PK
7:21AM: Brooks notes in the NY Post that Samuelsson will run the Rangers defense and that Vigneault is planning to add at least one more coach.
5PM: 6/30/13: According to Larry Brooks, the Rangers have hired Ulf Samuelsson as one of Alain Vigneault’s assistant coaches.
Samuelsson was an assistant coach in Phoenix with Wayne Gretzky ad spent the last two seasons coaching MODO in the SEL.
He spent one season with the Wolf Pack as an assistant to Jim Schoenfeld.
Brooks says that Samuelsson met with Vigneault the past two days and will attend Rangers prospect camp which starts tomorrow.
THIS SECTION is about Samuelsson.
According to Katie Strang, former Rangers defenseman Ulf Samuelsson filled out the questionnaire that was sent out to head coaching candidates.
Samuelsson, she writes, is highly regarded within the organization and could warrant a spot on the bench with Alain Vigneault.
It was reported yesterday that Samuelsson is a possibility to become an assistant/associate coach with the Rangers.
On the MODO website, as Pat Leonard notes, Samuelsson is no longer listed as the head coach. The head coach is now listed as Anders Forsberg.
In some posts to twitter, it has been noted that Forsberg has been the head coach for at least the last few days, maybe a week,, prior to the report being released.
Samuelsson has previously been an assistant coach with the Wolf Pack under assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld.
Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that Samuelsson left MODO, moved to Phoenix and is seeking a job in the NHL.
According to Larry Brooks, in the NY Post, the Rangers have interest in bringing in former defenseman Ulf Samuelsson to join Alain Vigneault’s staff.
- played four seasons for the Rangers, 1995-1999
- was an assistant coach with the Wolf Pack, under Jim Schoenfeld, in 2005-06
- was an associate head coach for four seasons with Wayne Gretzky in Phoenix and one season with Dave Tippett in Phoenix.
- has been the head coach of MODO in the SEL for the past two seasons.
In 2011-12, MODO had 27 wins, 22 losses, 2 OT losses and 4 shootout losses.
In 2012-13, MODO was 26-19-5-5 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Brooks writes that it is unknown if Samuelsson, who reportedly inquired about the head coaching position, would be willing to leave the SEL and return to the NHL as an assistant/associate coach.