Our next victim for Scouting The Market? Zbynek Michalek
Zbynek Michalek is a 27 year old defense man who has played the past couple years in Phoenix. A very consistent, durable blueliner, Michalek is a shot blocking demon, leading the league in 08-09 and always near the top. A good positional defenseman, he’s not going to make too many mistakes, but he’s not going to be a real crease clearing presence in the front of the net either. He has offensive skills, and while it’s dwindled the past couple of seasons, a lot of that is due to playing with Ed Jovanovski, who is an offensive threat and defensive liability.
Michalek is not the most physical guy, but he gets the job done with solid positioning and good stick work. He’s not afraid to block a shot and sacrifice his body. Michalek made $1.5 million last year. You can probably expect an increase to $2.5-3 million a year.
Obviously, signing any defenseman limits the ability for the youngsters to play. Assuming they re-sign Staal and Girardi, the D-pairs would look something like this:
The best thing to do is to buy out Redden, and try to trade Rosival (which may be easier than you think, considering how well he played down the stretch last year). If they can’t do that, and if they sign a defenseman like Michalek, guys like Gilroy and Sanguinetti can’t play. It’s a downside.
That said, what do you think of Michalek? Worth the price of admission? Worth blocking some of the youngsters? Let us know in the comments.