Several weeks after the Chicago Blackhawks fired assistant coach Mike Kitchen, it appears his replacement has been selected.
According to multiple reports, the Blackhawks will name Ulf Samuelsson to Joel Quenneville’s staff as his new assistant coach.
Samuelsson, who was the head coach of the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers in the 2016-17 season, has told the Carolina Hurricanes that he will be leaving the organization to take a job with the Blackhawks, according to Scott Powers of The Athletic Chicago.
Earlier this week, reports from Elliotte Friedman and Craig Morgan indicated that the Blackhawks had chosen Samuelsson to replace Kitchen on the staff. No official announcement has been made by the team.
After the Blackhawks were swept out of the postseason by the Nashville Predators, they made a few changes to the roster, trading away goaltender Scott Darling and re-signing Richard Panik, but they also made a shake-up in the coaching ranks when they let go of Kitchen.
The move reportedly didn’t sit well with Quenneville, who will be back for his 10thseason behind the bench for the Blackhawks this fall.
Samuelsson and Quenneville are very much familiar with one another, as they were teammates with the Hartford Whalers for six seasons in the 1980’s. Samuelsson earned a reputation as a hard-nosed enforcer during his NHL career, racking up nearly 2500 penalty minutes in 1080 career NHL games.
Samuelsson was an assistant coach with the New York Rangers for four seasons before taking over as the head coach of the Charlotte Checkers (the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate) prior to the 2016-17 season.