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Ulf Samuelsson expected to be named assistant to Vigneault

Phoenix Coyotes associate coach Ulf Samuelsson, top, shouts

Phoenix Coyotes associate coach Ulf Samuelsson, top, shouts instructions to players during the first period of an NHL preseason game. (Sept. 18, 2009) Credit: AP

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Slowly but surely, Alain Vigneault's coaching staff is being assembled. There was Ulf Samuelsson in Rangers blue again, watching prospects scrimmage Tuesday as members of the team's front office looked on.

The 49-year-old former defenseman was a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Penguins before playing for the Rangers from 1995-99. A person familiar with the negotiations said Samuelsson is expected to be introduced as one of Vigneault's assistants, along with former Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel, when Vigneault returns from Canada later this week as the free-agent market opens.

Samuelsson coached Modo in Sweden last season. He was an assistant with the Phoenix Coyotes from 2006-11.

Arniel, 50, did not attend the second day of the weeklong camp but he has reached an agreement on a contract, Newsday has confirmed. He coached the AHL's Chicago Wolves last season but wanted to return to the NHL. He had a record of 45-60-18 with the Blue Jackets, where he coached Rick Nash and Derick Brassard, before being fired in January 2012. He also was a Sabres assistant coach from 2002-06.

Arniel was the 2009 AHL coach of the year with the Manitoba Moose, whom he led from 2006-10 after replacing Vigneault. In 11 seasons as a winger for the Jets, Sabres and Bruins, Arniel scored 149 goals and 338 points in 730 games.

Goaltending coach Benoit Allaire is staying with the Rangers. He was discussing technique with MacKenzie Skapski, a sixth-round pick Sunday. Mike Sullivan, who was the right-hand man for John Tortorella here and with Tampa Bay, was nowhere to be found. He reportedly is being considered for an assistant's job under Tortorella in Vancouver.

Notes & quotes: In their third trade in three days, the Rangers acquired forward Danny Kristo, 23, who spent four years at the University of North Dakota, for Christian Thomas, son of Steve Thomas, a former Islander and Devil. Kristo played for gold-medal winner Team USA in the World Junior championships in 2010 with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider. Thomas, 21, a second-round pick in 2010, had 19 goals and 16 assists in 73 games with the Connecticut Whale (AHL) last season . . . Danish forward Thomas Spelling scored a goal in a 4-2 scrimmage win by the White team in prospect camp. Andrew Yogan tipped in the game-winner. Last year's first-round pick, defenseman Brady Skjei, blocked several shots and scored an empty-netter . . . AHL forward Brandon Mashinter, a restricted free agent, was given a qualifying offer.

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Rangers, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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