Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 06/22/10 at 09:52 PM ET
On Tuesday, the Hurricanes have announced that they have come to terms with 22-year old right winger Jerome Samson. This is a two-year, two-way contract, which will pay Samson $500k at the NHL level in 2010-11 and $525k in 2011-12. At the AHL level, the contract pays $105k both seasons.
In three seasons with the Albany River Rats, Samson tallied 171 (80/91) points in regular season play. He added 11 (7/4) in 15 career playoff games, including nine (6/3) points in eight playoff games this past season. He led all Rats in goals and was second in the entire AHL with 37 markers. He made his NHL debut on January 7, 2010 against the Nashville Predators,registering one assist. In total, he played in seven games and had two (0/2) points.
Carolina has been making moves to trim the budget, and there’s already been an announcement that Jim Rutherford intends to spend “at or near” the league-imposed salary floor. All of this to lure a potential buyer of a minority share of the team. The top brass are hoping that the team will reap benefits of the All-Star Game, which will help it make a profit. They are hoping to lure new fans with the All-Star Game and pique the interest of some fans with a younger, fresher team. With the potential buyouts of Rod Brind’Amour and Sergei Samsonov and the free agency of Ray Whitney, there’s going to be lots of room for these young guys, and Samson is at the top of that group. He’s been a stallion at the AHL level and has a handful of NHL games under his belt. He’s not exactly Ray Whitney, but he’s a good player with his best years still ahead of him.
Someone in the Hurricanes organization really did their homework on this kid. He was an undrafted player, and he wasn’t exactly lighting it up at the QMJHL level, but one of the scouts saw something. They signed him in 2007, and the risk has certainly paid off. He was consistently one of the best players on the Rats. In the fall, he’ll probably find himself on the big team. Either that, or he’ll be the top scorer on the Checkers. Either way, I’ll be looking forward to watching him play in the fall.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.