Defensive defenseman Ulf Samuelsson was born March 26, 1964 in Fagersta, Sweden. Originally drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the fourth round, 67th overall of the 1982 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Swede played for Leksand before coming over to North America to join the Whalers for the 1984-85 season.
Nicknamed "Robocop," Samuelsson was feared for a hitting style that enemies sometimes deemed to be calculatedly ruthless, he was also a fine shutdown defenseman who rarely made glaring mistakes. Samuelsson played 1,080 regular season games in the National Hockey League (57 goals, 276 assists, 333 points, 2,453 penalty minutes) along with 132 playoff games (seven goals, 27 assists, 34 points, 288 penalty minutes). He won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990-91 and 1991-92.
Over the course of his playing career, Samuelsson played for the Whalers, Penguins, New York Rangers, and briefly (four games) with the Detroit Red Wings before finishing his career with the Flyers.
An unlikely Flyer due to his career background, Samuelsson was one of the Flyers' most hated rival players for many years, especially as a member of the Penguins and Rangers. On October 19, 1999, the Flyers signed Samuelsson to a two-year deal as a free agent.
For several months, Samuelsson played quite effectively for Roger Neilson's team. However, significant injuries to his right shoulder (rotator cuff strain and inflammation) and right knee, began to limit both his availability and effectiveness in the latter portion of the season.
As a Flyer, Samuelsson posted a plus-eight rating, three points (one goal, two assists) and 58 penalty minutes in 49 games. Samuelsson missed 13 of the final 15 games of the regular season - including each of the final eight - and was unavailable to play in the playoffs.
Samuelsson, a likable figure away from the ice regardless of his on-ice reputation, retired after the 1999-2000 season.
In the early years of his retirement, Samuelsson remained in the Philadelphia area, even co-owning and operating Steinman's Jewish Delicatessen in Jenkintown, PA. Thereafter, he actively embarked on a professional coaching career that saw him serve as an NHL assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers and an American Hockey League head coach, sandwiched around a stint as head coach of Swedish team Modo.