Milan Michalek was the Ottawa Senators’ highest paid player this season with a salary of $6M. For that price, the Senators got, for the most part, a solid penalty killer.
It was just during the last couple of weeks that Michalek seems to have turned a corner on his season. That also coincides with the arrival of countryman Ales Hemsky at the trade deadline.
Before Hemsky’s arrival, Michalek had just 10 goals and 17 assists in 52 games. Since the trade, Michalek has 7 goals and 4 assists in 15 games. Whether Hemsky’s arrival had a direct influence on Michalek’s production is debatable, but it gave another playmaker to the Jason Spezza line and opened up more space for Michalek, a proven finisher.
There are a lot of factors that go into the decision on whether or not to attempt to re-sign Michalek, whose contract runs out at the end of this season.
- Health – Michalek has been bothered by injuries in the past, but has suited up for every game this season. He looked bothered by his gimpy knees at times, but seems to have found his stride later in the season.
- Hemsky – Hemsky is also a pending UFA at the end of the season, and it might come down to a decision to spend on one or the other and not both.
- Asking Price – Michalek might have to take a slight pay cut and a mid-term deal (2 or 3 years) to remain in Ottawa.
So, what would you do if you were the GM?