Penguins

Samuelsson named head coach in Sweden

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Ulf Samuelsson. -- AP PHOTO

Swedish Hockey League club Leksands IF named former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson head coach on Monday.

Samuelsson replaces Roger Melin behind the Leksand bench as Leksand ranks last in the SHL with a 11-24-3 record.

"It was exciting," Samuelsson told hockeysverige.se. "I was craving a coaching job even before (Leksand's sports manager Thomas Johansson) called. It didn't take long for me to decide."

Samuelsson played for Leksand from 1981-84 before breaking into the NHL, and again for a brief period during the 1994-95 lockout.

Samuelsson's last coaching job was as an assistant coach for the Blackhawks until he was fired in November 2018. He has also worked as the head coach of the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, an assistant coach for the Rangers, head coach of MODO Hockey of the SHL, assistant and associate coach of the Coyotes, and assistant coach of the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack.

In September, Samuelsson was hired as a pro scout for the Seattle expansion team, and he said that when he got the offer to coach Leksand he received Ron Francis' blessing to leave the Seattle job. Samuelsson is still under contract with the Blackhawks after he was relieved from his duties there, so he also had to receive permission from Chicago before accepting the Leksand job.

Samuelsson's oldest son, former Penguins prospect Philip Samuelsson, is currently a defenseman on Leksand, playing in his first season in Europe. Ulf previously coached Phil with the Charlotte Checkers in the 2016-17 season.

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