Sergei Samsonov was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the first round of 1997 NHL Entry Draft (8th overall). He played in 81 games the following season, scoring 22 goals with 25 assists on his way to capturing the 1998 Calder Trophy, which is awarded to the top rookie in the league. Four times in his stint in Beantown, he broke the 20 goal mark, twice scoring 29 (2000-01, 2001-02). The Russian born winger was traded at the trade deadline 2006 to the Edmonton Oilers in a deal that included current Florida Panther Marty Reasoner and a draft pick that Boston used to select Milan Lucic. The Oilers made the Stanley Cup Finals that season but lost in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes.
After a less than memorable season with the Montreal Canadiens, he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks before the 2007-2008 season. The Hawks waived him after a lackluster 23 games and he was claimed by the Carolina Hurricanes, where he posted 32 points in his next 38 games. After three and half seasons as a Cane, he was traded to the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline 2011 for defenseman Bryan Allen.
Samsonov has played fairly well since coming over in the trade. He’s posted 9 points (2g, 7A) with a +2 rating on a team in desperate need of scoring. Whether or not that will land him a job in Sunrise for the short term remains to be seen. He’s not a big, physical guy like Dale Tallon is looking for and his age (32 years old) certainly won’t work in his favor either. He’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year and he’s currently making $2.8 million. I certainly don’t see management throwing that much his way, should they desire to keep his services. That cap space might be better spent elsewhere.
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