The Arizona Coyotes acquired defenseman Philip Samuelsson last month in a trade that sent forward Rob Klinkhammer to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Samuelsson was recalled from Portland of the AHL Tuesday and his presence on the Coyotes’ roster presents a unique challenge for head coach Dave Tippett.
“I don’t think I’ve ever coached anybody I knew as a baby,” Tippett told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday.
Tippett was teammates with Philip’s father, Ulf Samuelsson, in Hartford from 1984 to 1990 and again in Pittsburgh during the 1992-93 season, when Philip was just a year old.
But the sixth-year head coach is eager to see what the younger Samuelsson brings to the Arizona lineup.
“He’s a real intelligent player and he’s had a handful of games in the NHL with Pittsburgh,” he said. “His M.O. is that he’s a good defender and a good penalty killer and those are soft spots on our team right now.
“So we’ll have a look at him and see how he does.”
That handful of games in Pittsburgh came last year. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound defenseman saw action in five contests, averaging 15:34 of ice time. This season, in 38 games with Wilkes-Barre and Portland in the AHL, he had one goal six assists and 34 penalty minutes.