Mikael Samuelsson is congratulated by his teammates after a goal vs. New Jersey . Photo Source: Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Return Of Mikael Samuelsson Is Bigger Than Most People Think


The Florida Panthers won a huge game Monday night at the Bank Atlantic Center against the Western Conference powerhouse Vancouver Canucks. Mikael Samuelsson who was traded to the Florida Panthers earlier this season faced his former team for the first, and only time this season. This was Samuelsson’s 3rd game back after being hit hard into the boards during a December 20th game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Many Panthers have gone down with injuries but slowly players are starting to get back into the line up, and the return of Mikael Samuelsson is bigger than most people think.

Before getting injured against the Phoenix Coyotes; Samuelsson had recorded 3 assists in the two games previous. He was certainly starting to mesh well with his new teammates and things were looking good for him. Samuelsson has always been plagued by injuries during his career as the 10 year veteran has never played a full 82 game season. The most games he has played in a season is 81, which is pretty close. His career high in points is 53 back during the 2009-2010 season with Vancouver.  He won a Stanley Cup with Detroit back in 2008, and hopes to part of the solution here in Florida to finally end the playoff drought.

Since coming back from the injury Samuelsson has been playing excellent hockey and continues to contribute on the score sheet regardless of the way the Panthers are playing. The Panthers can certainly use his leadership on the ice considering he has two gold medals with Team Sweden (he was on the same line as the Sedin twins during the Olympics in 2006) and of course the Stanley Cup with Detroit.

Samuelsson plays with a attitude of giving 100% every shift, although it has hurt him in the past with some injuries he continues to play strong hockey at the age of 35. When Samuelsson was brought to South Florida not many people knew who he was and why he was traded for David Booth; well now we can see why exactly he was brought here. He has winning attitude and plays very extremely on both sides of the ice (career +/- : +58, David Booth’s -18). In 9 games with the Panthers he has 6 points, so if he can remain consistent and injury free, Samuelsson will certainly anchor that 2nd line behind the FlashMob line.

Dale Tallon knew that Samuelsson would add another weapon the Panthers could use in their line up. Samuelsson has certainly had success during the regular season, but Samuelsson has done some significant damage in the postseason as well. In 92 postseason games, Samuelsson has 53 points including 6 playoff game winning goals. Overall the addition of Mikael Samuelsson has been a home run thus far, and hopefully as the Panthers continue to get better and that home run will become a grand slam once the Panthers make the postseason.

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Tags: Dale Tallon David Booth Florida Panthers Mikael Samuelsson Sedin Twins Sweden Vancouver Canucks