DETROIT >> Mikael Samuelsson’s return to the Detroit Red Wings didn’t start well and it most certainly didn’t end well.
After an injury plagued first year, the veteran forward quickly found himself passed over by the youngsters in the organization this past season.
“I’m just disappointed the way this year started out,” said Samuelsson, who just wrapped up his two-year deal worth $6 million. “I was hoping and believe I have something more to give, but at the same time when the young guys came in they definitely deserved a chance to play. They played so good then it became a tough spot for the management. I guess I was the odd man out. From my standpoint I didn’t like what was going on.”
In 26 games last season, he had just one goal, two assists and was a minus-4. He averaged just over 10 minutes of ice time a game.
“It was very disappointing,” Samuelsson said. “You can see it from both ends, they didn’t think I performed and I don’t think I got that much of an opportunity. Even though I played 20-plus games when you look at the games the amount of ice time I got, in my mind that’s not what I wanted here.”
The Wings waived Samuelsson in late January. He played just two games in Grand Rapids and registered no points and was a minus-4.
“I was happy something was going on at the point,” Samuelsson said. “It’s not easy to waive a guy that makes the amount of money I made and showed pretty much absolutely nothing this year. At that point I knew I wasn’t going to get picked up, one plus one is two. I just wanted to play some games.”
It looked like Detroit was going to use one of its two amnesty buyouts on Samuelsson last offseason, but the team felt he possible would contest the move because of a pectoral muscle/shoulder injury he suffered in the playoffs.
“They talked to me for a little bit, but I didn’t expect or wanted them to talk,” Samuelsson said. “They talked through actions. That’s how they talked. It’s not like they said you’re still a good player. It’s the actions that spoke more than words.
“I need to take some time and do some good thinking what I want to do,” Samuelsson continued. “I still think I can play hockey that’s the bottom line. Whether it’s going to be here or somewhere else today I don’t know what’s going on.”