If NHL training camps aren't cancelled next month by a lockout veteran forward Sergei Samsonov could be attempting to make a return to the NHL.
A report out of Edmonton surfaced on Monday that he had already agreed to a tryout contract with the San Jose Sharks, but Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com was told by Samsonov's agent, Neil Abbott, that no such agreement has been reached yet and that he is currently speaking to "several" teams.
He last appeared in the NHL during the 2010-11 season with the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes, scoring 13 goals to go with 27 assists in 73 games split between the two teams. The Hurricanes traded him to Florida just before the trade deadline that year for defenseman Bryan Allen.
If he were to join a camp on a tryout contract there is almost no downside to that types of deal. If it works and he ends up sticking on the roster, some team may get a skilled, potentially productive forward for a dirt cheap price. And if it doesn't work all you've lost is some time during training camp. The potential reward, however small it may be, seems like it would outweigh any risk that would come with it.
Samsonov has always been a skilled offensive player and can sometimes score some absolutely beautiful goals.
He was originally drafted by the Boston Bruins with the No. 7 overall pick in the 1997 draft and went on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year that year, scoring 22 goals and recording 25 assists as a 19-year-old. He spent the first seven years of his career with the Bruins alongside current Sharks center Joe Thornton (the No. 1 overall pick in 1997) until both players were traded in the middle of the 2005-06 season.Whether he's able to skate like that now at the age of 33 remains to be seen.
Boston sent Thornton to San Jose for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau, while Samsonov was sent to Edmonton for Marty Reasoner, Yan Stastny and a draft pick.
As a member of the Oilers Samsonov averaged nearly a point-per-game in the regular season and then added 15 more points in 24 playoff games. The team made a shocking run to the Stanley Cup Final as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference before losing to the Hurricanes in seven games.