Mikael Samuelsson has a decade-long NHL résumé and a shot that’s blistering. That might not be enough to get him regular minutes with the Red Wings.

At 36 and coming off a season that was one long stay in the sick bay Samuelsson is having to show why he should be among the 14 forwards left at the end of the month when the Wings must trim their roster by three.

“We’ve got kids knocking on the door” coach Mike Babcock said. “So now we have real NHL players that can’t play here.”

Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist are in the “kids” group but it isn’t just the young set: Samuelsson who notched a power-play assist in Monday’s 4-1 exhibition victory at Pittsburgh is battling for minutes with fellow veterans Todd Bertuzzi Patrick Eaves and Jordin Tootoo as the team is flush with wingers.

“As an organization it’s great for them” Samuelsson said. “The pressure is on right away. If you can’t handle it you shouldn’t be here. It’s fun too — you’ve got to look at it that way.

“For me I have to earn a spot.”

Samuelsson is eager to forget the first half of 2013. He went through the lockout-shortened season segueing from one injury to another culminating in a low point in Nashville when just as he was returning from one injury he was hit by a shot during the morning skate and suffered a broken finger.

He played only four games plus five in the playoffs.

“I didn’t play my best last year” Samuelsson said “but it had its reasons. What are you going to do if you’re injured?”