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08-08-2013, 08:53 AM
RangerBoy's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: New York
Country: United States
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Samuelsson wrote a blog on playing D in the new NHL in 2008

As a coach, you’re trying to improve each player to be the best that he can be. Nowadays, players are so focused and so driven that any kind of help and information they get, they’ll take it and run with it.

You have to be patient when you’re working with younger players. Other than goaltending, I think defense is a position that takes a while to fully understand. To be able to use your experience to your full advantage and become a good defensemen is difficult. In my opinion, it typically takes a little longer to develop a solid understanding for playing defense than it takes to play forward.

Staal spoke to Jim Cerny about Samuelsson

Staal has had several phone conversations already this summer with one of Vigenault’s assistants, Ulf Samuelsson, and he is thrilled that the former NHL defenseman and two-time Cup winner is on the Rangers staff this season.

“It’s going to be great learning from Ulf, and it will pay big dividends I think for all of our defensemen,” Staal stated. “He’s coached a long time and worked with a lot of different players. And obviously his vast experience in playing the game, and knowing what we go through on a day to day basis, will make him an important guy for all of this season.”

Samuelsson and Staal originally came in contact with one another during the 2006 AHL playoffs when Staal, then just 19 years old, was summoned from Sudbury in the OHL to play for the Hartford Wolf Pack where Ulf was serving as an assistant coach.

“Even in those couple of weeks he gave me some important tips,” recalled Staal. “I think it’s going to be great to have him here now. He played in the NHL for so long and he knows what he is talking about and is a very good coach and a good guy.”

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