The 37-year-old played just over two seasons with the Canucks and was quite productive putting up a 30-goal season and two 50-point seasons.
Last season, Samuelsson was beset by a groin, broke finger, and pectoral injury that limited him to four games. This season, despite injuries to some of the Red Wings’ top players, he has been passed on the depth chart by young players called up from the minors.
The Red Wings have a number of players on injured reserve that are close to returning and will need the roster space to activate them. However, by doing so, it will only clear a roster spot and won’t give the Red Wings much cap relief since Samuelsson is on a 35-plus contract.
Once Samuelsson clears he can be assigned to Grand Rapids. It won’t clear much cap space ($100,000) but opens up valuable roster spot.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) January 25, 2014
According to Capgeek.com, the Canucks have about $2 million in cap space and Samuelsson carries a $3 million cap hit.
There may be an incentive for the Red Wings to trade Samuelsson to another team (granted he waives his no-trade clause) since it will open up much more cap space.
That’s where the Canucks interest might kick in, right? I don’t think so.
The CBA allows teams to retain up to 50 per cent of a player’s contract, so in this scenario, Samuelsson’s cap hit would still be a very pricey $1.5 million for somebody that has a goal and two assists in 26 games (although he’s been only playing, on average, 10:21 a night).
Taking on the $1.5 million cap hit isn’t leaving the Canucks with much flexibility at the trade deadline either to add an impact player either.
Samuelsson also had some choice words for Canucks management back in 2012:
Disappointed is not the right word, but I liked it a lot in Vancouver. I had a pretty significant injury my second season in Vancouver when I torn (something I can’t translate) in my groin. The rehab was going well and I felt good in camp, but when the season was about to start the leg didn’t work.
Looking back at it now, it might have been good to be traded, I got extra time to rehab and come back fully fit. I liked it a lot in Florida, but it was tough leaving the Sedins, Edler and the other guys up in Vancouver. I didn’t think very highly of management, so in that way I didn’t mind.
I think the bridge has been burned.