CHARLOTTE, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes today announced that they have hired Ulf Samuelsson as the Charlotte Checkers’ new head coach.
“Ulf has built a very strong coaching resume during a decade behind the bench in the AHL, NHL and Swedish league,” said Ron Francis, the Hurricanes’ executive vice president and general manager. “He has a proven history of helping to develop young players and understands the organizational culture that we are building here.”
Samuelsson, a 52-year-old veteran of 1,080 NHL games with Hartford, Pittsburgh, the New York Rangers, Detroit and Philadelphia, joins the organization after most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Rangers for the past three seasons. While in New York, he helped the Rangers on a run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and to the conference final in 2015.
The native of Fagersta, Sweden, also served as head coach of Modo of the Swedish Hockey League for two seasons from 2011-13, guiding the team to consecutive playoff appearances and a record of 38-15-16-41. As an associate coach with the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes for five seasons from 2006-11, the former defenseman aided in the development of current NHL players Keith Yandle, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Zbynek Michalek and helped guide the team to a franchise-record 50 wins in 2009-10. Samuelsson began his professional coaching career as an assistant with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack in 2005-06.
In 16 NHL seasons as a player, Samuelsson, who Hartford drafted in the fourth round (67th overall) in 1982, accumulated 322 points (57g, 275a) and ranks 26th on the league’s all-time list with 2,453 penalty minutes. He captured consecutive Stanley Cup championships with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992 alongside Francis, represented Sweden in several international competitions and appeared as an NHL All-Star during the Rendez-vous ’87 series against the Soviet National Team.
Samuelsson is the father of Henrik and Philip Samuelsson, NHL draft picks who together spent the majority of last season playing for the AHL’s Springfield Falcons within the Coyotes organization, Victoria Samuelsson, who has represented Sweden internationally at the junior level and is set to begin her sophomore season at Penn State University, and Adam Samuelsson, who recently committed to play at Boston College.
Samuelsson becomes the third head coach in the Checkers’ seven AHL seasons following Jeff Daniels (2010-2015) and Mark Morris (2015-16), the latter of whom recently accepted the head coaching position at St. Lawrence University.