Rambler's Top100

31 2007 . 
Duhatschek: The end of Sergei Samsonov? // Globe on Hockey Blog

Eric Duhatschek.

A little trivia about Sergei Samsonov, the day after the Chicago Blackhawks put him on waivers: In the first five years of his NHL career, Samsonov actually outscored his Boston Bruins teammate Joe Thornton in every one of those seasons. Given how fast and how far Samsonov has fallen in production and stature over the past two years, it is hard to remember that he was once a pivotal member of the Bruins in his early years.

Now, of course, Thornton is in the midst of another sensational season with the San Jose Sharks (and over the course of the past three years, has more points than any other NHL player) while Samsonovs NHL career could be  over.

The Blackhawks acquired Samsonov from the Montreal Canadiens last summer in a deal for Jassen Cullimore and Tony Salmelainen in the hopes that he would provide some short-term scoring punch on a young, improving team. And while some of the other moves made by the Blackhawks to support the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane worked out, Samsonov was a bust, pure and simple. Whatever quickness he once had that ability to dart into the holes and create an offensive chance evaporated in the post-lockout NHL which was theoretically supposed to help the small man in the game.

In 23 games, he managed just four points and eventually coach Denis Savards patience wore out. It is unlikely that anyone would claim Samsonov for his $3.5 million annual salary. Even half that amount what a team would be required to absorb on re-entry waivers might be too much for what Samsonovs produced lately. 

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