The Chicago Blackhawks announced Thursday that they have hired Ulf Samuelsson and Don Granato as assistant coaches. Samuelsson and Granato will join returning assistant coach Kevin Dineen, goaltending coach Jimmy Waite and video coach Matt Meacham on head coach Joel Quenneville’s staff.
“The addition of Ulf and Don bolsters an already veteran coaching staff,” said Bowman. “They will join Joel, Kevin, Jimmy and Matt to form a staff that I believe is the best in the NHL. Ulf brings over 20 years of NHL experience and knows what it takes to be a Stanley Cup champion. Don has an extensive coaching background and has been successful at developing players at every level. Both have the leadership skills and experience to complement our staff.”
Samuelsson, 53, was teammates with Quenneville from 1984 to 1990 when both were members of the Hartford Whalers. Samuelsson and Dineen were also teammates with the Whalers from 1984 to 1991.
“This is a great opportunity to join a franchise that not only is historically popular, but has also had a lot of great success recently,” said Samuelsson. “To be on the bench with Joel, Kevin, Don, Jimmy and Matt is motivating and exciting as we work to attain the highest level of success. I’m thankful to Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough, Stan Bowman and the entire leadership group with the Blackhawks for this opportunity. I would also like to express my appreciation to the Carolina Hurricanes, Ron Francis and the Charlotte Checkers for my time with the organization.”
Samuelsson spent the 2016-17 season as head coach of the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. He led the club to a 39-29-7-1 record and a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs. He has experience coaching in the National Hockey League as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers (2013-16) and Phoenix Coyotes (2006-11).
The Fagersta, Sweden native played 16 seasons in the NHL for Hartford (1984-1991), Pittsburgh (1991-1995), the New York Rangers (1995-1999), Detroit (1999) and Philadelphia (1999-2000). He is a two-time Stanley Cup winner, winning with Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992. The defenseman played 1,080 career games with 57 goals and 275 assists. He tallied 2,453 career penalty minutes over his career which rank sixth all-time among blueliners. As a player, his teams made the Stanley Cup Playoffs 13 times and he played in a total of 132 playoff games, notching 34 points (7G, 27A).
A member of Sweden’s 1998 Olympic team, Samuelsson also represented his native country in the 1985 and 1990 World Championships and the 1983 and 1984 World Junior Championships. Samuelsson has three sons: Philip, who is currently a defenseman in the Carolina Hurricanes system, Henrik, who is a forward in the Edmonton Oilers system and, Adam, who is currently with the U.S. National Team Development Program. His daughter, Victoria, is a forward on the Penn State University women’s hockey team.