Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ulf Samuelsson new assistant coach on Phoenix

GLENDALE, Ariz. (CP) - Phoenix Coyotes general manager Michael Barnett announced Monday that the club hired former NHL defenceman Ulf Samuelsson to serve as an assistant coach for head coach Wayne Gretzky.
Terms of the multi-year contract were not disclosed.
''We have a strong group of good young defencemen and felt it would be very beneficial to have them learn the game and be coached by a former NHL blueliner,'' said Barnett in a statement released by the club.
Samuelsson, 42, spent the 2005-06 season as an assistant coach with the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers' top minor league affiliate, helping the club to a 48-24-2-6 record.
''Ulf was a top defenceman in the NHL for 17 years, and won two Stanley Cups,'' said Gretzky in the statement.
''He was a punishing hitter and a fierce competitor. 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 defencemen and helping them develop into better players. He will be a valuable addition to our coaching staff.''
Samuelsson, regarded as one of the hardest hitting defencemen ever, played 1,080 career NHL games over 17 seasons with the Hartford Whalers (now Carolina Hurricanes), Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.
The native of Fagersta, Sweden registered 57 goals and 275 assists for 332 points, along with 2,453 penalty minutes and was a member of the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cup Championship teams in Pittsburgh.

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