The Vancouver Canucks have made several changes to their player development, most notably transitioning Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin to roles in that department. They will work “daily on and off the ice with young players in Vancouver and Abbotsford.” Joining the twins are former NHL players Mikael Samuelsson and Mike Komisarek, who will work with prospects in the organization.
Cammi Granato, Ryan Johnson, and Chris Higgins will remain in their current roles. General manager Patrick Allvin released a statement on the moves:
We’re pleased to have solidified our Player Development department for next season with the additions of Mikael Samuelsson and Mike Komisarek, as well as Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Cammi Granato and Ryan Johnson led an extensive search to find the individuals with the right attributes, winning pedigrees, and who fit the overall strategy of the Vancouver Canucks moving forward
Obviously, there is plenty of excitement in Vancouver whenever the Sedins are involved, and after spending the last year as special advisors, it appears they are now ready to jump into a more hands-on role in the organization. The legendary forwards are arguably the most recognizable players in franchise history, combining for more than 2,800 games all in Canucks uniforms.
Samuelsson, 45, has his own experience with the Canucks, having played parts of three seasons with the club. The journeyman winger actually recorded the best year of his career in Vancouver, scoring 30 goals and 53 points in 2009-10. It’s no coincidence that those numbers came in a year where he received time on the right side of the Sedins whenever Alexandre Burrows was moved off the line. The three were also all part of the 2008 Swedish team that won gold at the Olympics. Likely not often thought of in this category, but Samuelsson is actually a member of the Triple Gold Club–with a Stanley Cup and gold medals at both the Olympics and World Championship.
He has served as a development coach with the Chicago Blackhawks and as general manager of a second-tier club in Sweden, but left that position at the end of last year.
Komisarek meanwhile never did play for the Canucks, but does have a history with Higgins from their time together in Montreal. The former NHL defenseman played more than 550 games in the league and has been a development coach with the Buffalo Sabres for the last few seasons.