Kevin Bieksa gets a lot of press for being a great quote, but he’s not the only Canuck who can lay down a good line. Mikael Samuelsson has also developed something of a reputation as a go-to guy if you’re holding a microphone, although it’s not because of his one-liners — he’s just brutally honest. If Samuelsson weren’t a hockey player, he’d do what George Clooney does in Up in the Air.
Consider, for instance, Samuelsson’s response when asked what led him to sign a free agent deal with Vancouver, a couple years back. ”It was a bunch of reasons, not only good money,” he said. “Obviously [money] was the key, I shouldn’t lie.
Or last season, when Brad Zeimer asked Samuelsson how he felt about Alain Vigneault’s decision to demote him to the fourth line: ”I don’t want to say anything, but I got pissed off, for sure,” Samuelsson said. Zeimer wisely walked away without pointing out that Samuelsson had actually said something after all.
There was the time someone asked Samuelsson about Mason Raymond and Samuelsson plainly said he needs to use his linemates more. Also, there was that time someone asked him how he felt really about being left off the Swedish Olympic hockey team. You may recall that no words were minced on that frabjous day.
It was with great joy, then, that I read Iain MacIntyre’s latest article, in which Samuelsson, Alex Edler, and Marco Sturm — along with a handful of rookies and prospects — returned to Vancouver ice for the first time since last postseason, and Samuelsson took the time to speak to MacIntyre about Vancouver’s exodus of toughness.
“Me as a Swede and coming from Detroit before, no it’s not really an issue,” he said of toughness. “What do you mean for team toughness? Is that fighting or battling for pucks? When I was in Detroit, we didn’t have too much toughness. It was hard battles. To me, that’s toughness. Drop the gloves? Yeah, I wish I could drop the gloves once in a while, but I can’t.
It’s true. Samuelsson punches with the gloves on. To wit:
My favourite thing about the players coming back? New quotes. Quotes I can mangle for my own amusement. For instance, upon hearing a quote like this, the reasonable assumption would be that Samuelsson is admitting he isn’t much of a fighter, which is, in itself, a hilariously self-aware admission of Wellwoodian proportions.
But what if Samuelsson physically can’t drop the gloves because Keith Ballard, champion prankster, filled Sammy’s gloves with superglue and he hasn’t been able to remove them for months? Someone should help him.
What if Samuelsson’s actually a crazy good fighter, but in his last fight, he killed a dude and he’s sworn off the fisticuffs forevermore, like John Wayne in The Quiet Man? If that’s the case, the only way to get him to fight is have a sassy redhead question his masculinity.
Or maybe Sammy’s hinting at something far more sinister? Aversion therapy, maybe? Does the very notion of violence make him physically ill? We know that his time in Detroit involved a thorough brainwashing — did Sammy get Clockwork Orange’d?
We may never know.
Tags: featured, hooray quotes, I Find This Quote Odd, Samuelsson, samuelsson is brutally honest