Friday, September 26, 2008

Player of Interest: Sergei Samsonov

I was reviewing some of the pictures from last night's pre-season games and happened across Sergei Samsonov, now of the Carolina Hurricanes.  Samsonov is a curiosity to a lot of poolies, because he's terribly inconsistent.  He could be pretty good one year and abysmal the next.  He's also known to be somewhat injury prone, which should keep his stock a little bit lower.  But every time you see his name on the list, he's one of those guys that gets you to ponder gambling with him or not.

Career-wise, he does have a points-per-game rate of 0.69, which isn't too bad. Between Chicago and Carolina last year, he did manage 36 points in 61 games, but 32 of those points came in only 38 games with the Hurricanes. Once he was dealt out of Chicago, Samsonov found new life in his legs and his scoring touch, which was absolutely astounding.  With his new found success, he found a new 3-year deal with Carolina, which will count around $2.5 million against the cap.

The dynamic of the Hurricanes didn't change too much from last season to this pre-season, but there are some subtle differences to note.  Samsonov was inserted into the line-up after Rod Brind'Amour was finished for the season and now the captain is back.  Samsonov will likely be juggled on the lines a little bit, thanks to the injury to Justin Williams.  Overall, Samsonov could still be a scoring force for the Hurricanes, but do count on him to miss at least 10 games this year, just to be safe.

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