Ulf Samuelsson will join Blackhawks as assistant coach, per report

Samuelsson replaces Mike Kitchen on Chicago’s coaching staff.

It appears Ulf Samuelsson is heading to the Chicago Blackhawks as an assistant coach, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

The move will fill the vacancy opened when the team fired Mike Kitchen following the end of a brief 2016 playoff run.

Samuelsson, 53, spent the past season as the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers. He had been reported as a top candidate for the Blackhawks’ opening last month, and now Friedman is reporting he’s chosen that gig over potentially heading to Los Angeles.

This unites Samuelsson with Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville, as they were teammates together on the Hartford Whalers in the 1980s. Samuelsson also won Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1991-92, so he’s had some history of winning in the NHL.

The Hawks’ coaching staff now includes Quenneville, Samuelsson, assistant coach Kevin Dineen, and goaltending coach Jimmy Waite. This was the Hawks’ first coaching change since hiring Dineen in 2014 to replace Jamie Kompon.