Carolina Hurricanes winger Sergei Samsonov had one of the worst seasons of his career last year. His 14 goals, 15 assists, and -15 plus/minus rating earned him a ticket to the team's fourth line during the latter part of the year. Samsonov, known for his puckhandling and playmaking, is not a prototypical fourth line player.
What makes things worse is that he is scheduled to make $2.8 million this coming season.
This afternoon, Paul Branecky published a story at CH.com about the forward's tenuous situation in Carolina. GM Jim Rutherford was quoted as saying that "all things are possible" concerning the Russian. That means he could be traded, put on waivers, or bought out.
It seems doubtful that he could be traded since his salary is now considered inflated and it seems equally doubtful that he would be picked up on waivers. If the team buys him out, they have a small window of opportunity to do so coming up before July 1, when free agency starts.
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with Vadim Kuznetsof, a Russian sportswriter who was interviewing me about the Hurricanes season, and we discussed Samsonov. He feels that the forward's style no longer fits on the team. Vadim's perception was that since Paul Maurice took over, Samsonov's "puck possession" game is lost in the defensive orientated style that Maurice utilizes.
Branecky also stated in his article that there was nothing new to report about Rod Brind`Amour or Ray Whitney, two other forwards with questionable futures on the team.