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Staal: Samuelsson hire will ‘pay big dividends’ for Rangers D

Jul 31, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT

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Of all the coaching changes in New York this summer, one is likely to affect Marc Staal more than the others — the hiring of Ulf Samuelsson as assistant coach.

“It’s going to be great learning from Ulf, and it will pay big dividends I think for all of our defensemen,” Staal told Blueshirts United. “He’s coached a long time and worked with a lot of different players. And obviously his vast experience in playing the game, and knowing what we go through on a day to day basis, will make him an important guy for all of this season.”

Samuelsson, 49, was hired in June to join Alain Vigneault’s staff. The former NHL defenseman has extensive assistant coaching experience — he was with the Coyotes from 2006-11, working under Wayne Gretzky for the first three years of his tenure, then Dave Tippett for the last two.

Last season, Samuelsson was the head coach of Modo of the Swedish Elite League, taking the club to a seventh-place finish in the regular season and a quarterfinal loss in the playoffs.

Samuelsson also has experience with the Rangers organization, having served as an assistant with AHL Hartford during the 2005-06 campaign. That year, he coached two key cogs of the current New York defense — Staal and Dan Girardi.

Staal, who joined the Wolf Pack for the playoffs after finishing up with OHL Sudbury, remembers the time well.

“Even in those couple of weeks he gave me some important tips,” said Staal, who was 19 at the time. “I think it’s going to be great to have him here now. He played in the NHL for so long and he knows what he is talking about and is a very good coach and a good guy.”

  1. pats2001 - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    what dividends will they pay? is he going to show the ranger players how to take out opponents knees and then when forced to face the consequences drop to the ice and turtle like an NBA player would do? yeah, what a great, classy hire this is

  2. pavelfitzgerald - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I believe Ulf will help teach defencemen the “art” of the knee on knee hit as well as the “art” of blind sided head shots.

  3. timmons94 - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Awww poor bruins fans still crying….. Wahhhhh wahhhhhhhh

  4. billyhauntswizards - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I’m actually very happy with the Ulf hire. Could teach our defensemen to clear the dam crease maybe.

  5. bosoxfan15 - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Ulf will always be public enemy #1 in Boston. He robbed Cam Neely of his career.

  6. vanindeed - Jul 31, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I guess Marchment was busy

  7. hockeyflow33 - Jul 31, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    It’s like rooting for Matt Cooke to be your coach…disgusting

  8. lonespeed - Aug 1, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    “It’s going to be great learning from Ulf, and it will pay big dividends I think for all of our defensemen,” Staal said. “But I won’t be here because I’m working on going to Carolina where the rest of my family is.”

  9. moarjam - Aug 1, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    haha he’s got 2 years left on his contract and then we’ll see. Unfortunately I have a feeling you are right…

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