Hurricanes hire Samuelsson to coach Checkers

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Tuesday that Ulf Samuelsson was hired as the head coach of the team’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

Samuelsson replaces Mark Morris who resigned in early May to coach at St. Lawrence University after leading the Checkers to a 36-32-8 record in 2015-16.

“Ulf has built a very strong coaching resume during a decade behind the bench in the AHL, NHL and Swedish league,” Hurricanes executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said.

“He has a proven history of helping to develop young players and understands the organizational culture that we are building here.”

The 52-year old Samuelsson has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers, helping them reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and the conference final in 2015.

Prior to his stint in New York, he spent two seasons as head coach for Modo of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), posting a record of 38-15-16-41 and reaching the playoffs both years.

His resume also includes serving as associate coach for the Phoenix Coyotes (2006-2011), a role in which he helped guide the team to a franchise-record 50 wins in 2009-10.

Samuelsson began his professional coaching career in 2005-06, serving as assistant coach for the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack.

A veteran of 16 NHL seasons, Samuelsson appeared in 1,080 career games as a player with the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers.

Selected by the Whalers in the fourth round, 67th overall, in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, he totaled 57 goals and 275 assists (332 points), 2,453 penalty minutes and a plus-172 rating.

He was a member of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup-champion teams in 1991 and 1992, and appeared as an NHL All-Star during the Rendez-vous ’87 series against the Soviet National Team.