Thursday, August 16, 2007

Report: Michalek extension in works

According to an article on, apparently a one-stop shop for all your Czech hockey-related needs, player agent Allen Walch, who has represented a multitude of Czech talent, including Martin Havlat and Patrik Elias, claims that San Jose management is finalizing a contract extension for burgeoning 22-year-old forward Milan Michalek, who would otherwise become an RFA (and susceptible to offer sheets) July 1st, 2008.

As the entire website is in Czech, it's largely incomprehensible, but apparently something along the lines of "within a few days, all will be announced" was stated by Walch. Michalek, in just his second full season in the NHL, was last year's "best buy" in terms of dollars per point as he scored 26 goals and 66 points on a line with Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo for league-minimum salary. A rather interesting anomaly regarding Michalek's production last season was that he scored 22 points in his first 20 games of the season and 25 points in his final 20 contests, yet just 19 points in the 37 games he participated in between those two segments. Had he produced throughout the entire season at the 1.175 points-per-game clip he churned out during the bookends of the campaign, Michalek would have been 14th in league scoring with 92 points, rather than the still impressive 66 he wound up with. With fantasy hockey season approaching, those numbers are likely as important to poolies as they will be in Michalek's contract negotiations.

Regardless, the best-case scenario for Sharks fans would be a contract similar to what New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise signed as an RFA earlier this summer for 4 years at $3.125/year. Michalek/Walch's side is likely to push for a deal similar to what Florida Panthers winger Nathan Horton and Buffalo Sabres center Derek Roy received, both six-year contracts worth $4 million a season. However, a contract in that ballpark may actually be preferrable as it eats two of Michalek's UFA years. I'll be sure to update on this situation when official word regarding the terms of the contract are known.

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