When Mikael Samuelsson signed a two-year, $6-million contract with the Red Wings in the summer of 2012, you can bet he didn’t think he’d find himself heading back to Grand Rapids. Lo and behold, the 37-year-old Swedish winger is on his way to the AHL.
Samuelsson, who got a full no trade clause as part of his deal with the Wings, missed most of last season due to injury, suiting up for only four games in the 2012-13 season. In those four contests, Samuelsson failed to register a point, but be it far from the Wings to know that the former 20-plus goal man would fall from grace so hard.
This season, in 26 games with the Wings, Samuelsson has registerd only three points. His only goal this season came on Oct. 2 in a game against the Buffalo Sabres, and he has been held pointless for stretches of seven games (twice), and, most recently, the nine games leading to his demotion.
At 37, and in the final year of his deal, it seems unlikely that Samuelsson will be back with the Red Wings barring any further injuries — although, with the way the Wings season has gone, you never know.
A one-time 30-goal scorer, Samuelsson will need to have an incredible showing in the AHL if he intends on finding himself work in the NHL next season. However, after three consecutive seasons with significant amounts of games lost to injury, Samuelsson may be a risk.
Samuelsson will likely be in the lineup on Jan. 31, when the Griffins play host to the Chicago Wolves.