A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Canes claim Samsonov

On Tuesday, the Hurricanes made a move, just as we were warned they would. It was for a forward, just like we were warned. There could not have been adequate warning for the bombshell that was dropped when the team announced that it had claimed Sergei Samsonov on re-entry waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks.

I don't have interwebs at work, so when I need to keep my eye on a story , I depend upon either the ESPN crawl or on the mobile browser on my phone. I used my phone to check in on Lord Stanley's Blog, and my initial reaction was textbook nonplus.

We did...what??? Wait. What??

After a few moments of contemplation, I was bordering on disappointment. Yes. Disappointment.

After I had time to read up a little, my disappointment has settled a little, and I'm just a little skeptical. Part of the thing that made me feel disappointed is that Samsonov is under a $3.525M contract. He's extraordinarily overpaid. Of that, though, Carolina will only be responsible for about $800k. That's not so bad.

Samsonov once scored 75 (29/46) points for the Bruins, but that was seven years ago. In 2005-06, he scored 53 (23/30) with Boston and Edmonton.

The following season, he was picked up out of free agency by Montréal. He was a complete bust and a bit of a locker room problem there. This past summer, the Habs traded him to Chicago for Jassen Cullimore and Tony Salmonella (yes, I know his name is Salmelainin, but it's funnier this way).

This season, Samsonov has been completely invisible. In 23 games, he totaled just four assists to go with no goals and a -7 rating.

I guess there were no GMs willing to deal a top nine forward. I wasn't really expecting a "something for nothing" trade like they were talking, so this shouldn't be that surprising. JR likes the little guys, and I guess that Theo Fleury is too busy doing coke running a concrete business to lace 'em up again.

Samsonov has some of the things that work really well in the Carolina "system". He's small (5'8"), fast, creative. Finally, Chad LaRose will have somebody he can look down on. This must be the second happiest day of his life.

Unfortunately, Samsanov hasn't enjoyed any success in a while, and he might have forgotten. He'll also be the only Russian on a front line that is entirely North American. Off the top of my head, I can't remember the last time there was a Russian forward on this team. The last time they had a player from the former CCCP, it was Oleg Tverdovsky, and we just won't go there. Prior to that, the only other Soviet-born player I can remeber was Daniil Markov. We have fond memories of Danny, but mostly because he was the player who was traded to Philly for Viva.

Anyway, as odd as it sounds, this might have been the best option for this desperate team. They really need some help up front, and this isn't a terrible gamble. Just keep in mind that the Hurricanes' share is $800k.

Samsonov's flight to Boston was delayed, but he is expected to be with the team and in the lineup tonight. I suspect he'll be on the third line.

Hopefully, we'll see the Sergei Samsonov of 2001 rather than the Samsonov of 2006. If nothing else, he brings NHL experience to the table. Not many of the Albany call-ups would be able to bring that.

Samsonov will be wearing #14, which we will remember as being K-Ads' number, and the one that will eventually be worn by Brandon Sutter.

Like the rest of my fellow Canes bloggers, all I can do now is welcome Sergei to the family and wish him the best. Успехов!

1 comment:

magnolia_mer said...

I thought he did okay tonight. I think he's in "I'm just happy to be back in the NHL" mode.

Wait, do Russian players ever get happy?


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