The Red Wings welcome a familiar face to Joe Louis Arena tonight, as former teammate Mikael Samuelsson arrives with his new team, the Vancouver Canucks.
Samuelsson was one of the players the Wings couldn’t hold onto due to salary cap restrictions over the offseason. The 32-year-old forward signed a three-year deal with Vancouver on July 3.
Samuelsson kept it simple when asked about tonight’s game, saying that he’s “looking forward to it”.
Tonight’s contest will be the second time the Wings take on the Canucks this season. The two clubs met in Vancouver on Oct. 27, and the Wings had four third-period goals to pick up a 5-4 win. Samuelsson had one assist and two shots on 17:43 worth of ice-time.
“We played them actually once before in Vancouver so I talked to them then, it’s always fun … want to talk to the guys, but they’re not here today, so maybe I’ll talk to them on the ice.”
The Wings had an optional skate this morning, and only a few members took the ice.
Prior to coming to the Wings, Samuelsson played with the Sharks, Rangers, Penguins, and Panthers. He played in five games against the Wings in that time frame, and he had only one assist.
Though he has had experience in this situation before, he said that his return to Hockeytown is more significant.
“I would say yes, this is where I have the most memories from, and the most friends, so it’s a little different from the other places I’ve been.”
Samuelsson spent four years with the Wings from 2005 to 2009. He played in 278 games, recording 67 goals and 92 goals for 159 pts. In 69 playoff games with Detroit, Samuelsson had 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points.