Making The Grade: Milan Michalek



Season ReviewMilan Michalek had a great start to the season, getting a point in each of the first six games.  However, the injury to his centerman Jason Spezza turned Michalek from an all-star to a no show on many nights.  A knee injury at an inopportune time that he tried to rehab and come back, only to be forced to go under the knife after all really derailed his season further.  Upon returning from the surgery, Michalek had another 5 game point streak.  Of his 14 points in 23 games (4 goals and 10 assists), 11 of them came in those two streaks.

May 22, 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Ottawa Senators left wing Milan Michalek (9) during wamups prior to game four of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Scotiabank Place. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Playoffs – He had 5 points in 10 playoff games, with three of them coming in the three games after Jason Spezza returned to the lineup.

Contract Status – Michalek is heading into a contract year, entering the final season of his 6 year contract that carries a cap hit of $4.33M and a final year salary of $6M.

Importance To Franchise – When healthy, and with Spezza as his centre, Michalek can be a 35+ goal scorer.  His knees will be a constant concern and he might be in his final year as a Senator.

Needs to Improve – Health is not something in his control, but he needs to improve his play without Spezza.  When Spezza went down, Michalek all but disappeared offensively.

Grade – D.  Injuries played a factor, but before they struck he disappeared when they needed him most.