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'Fresh start' excites Michalek

Forward anxious to hit the ice with new Sens teammates

Wednesday, 09.16.2009 / 2:12 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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\'Fresh start\' excites Michalek
Former San Jose Sharks forward Milan Michalek brings a mix of size and speed to the Senators linep. He practised with some of his new teammates this afternoon at Scotiabank Place (Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images).
Finally, the gang's all here and Milan Michalek can't wait to be a part of it all.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound forward, acquired Saturday from the San Jose Sharks in the Dany Heatley trade, made his first appearance at Scotiabank Place earlier Wednesday and skated with some of his teammates in the afternoon.

His arrival in Ottawa was delayed while some visa issues were cleared up but he's now anxious to settle in with his new team.

"I'm excited," said Michalek. "I've been practising by myself for two days now, so I'm excited to be with the team and be here."

Jonathan Cheechoo, the other forward the Sharks sent to Ottawa, thinks the Senators and their fans will be happy with what the 24-year-old Michalek brings to the table.

"He's a big guy and for a big guy, he's got a lot of speed," said Cheechoo. "From blue line to blue line, I don't know how many people who are faster than him, so expect to see a lot of breakaway speed. He's a big guy who can battle down low and he can put the puck in the net when he gets the chance."

Captain Daniel Alfredsson is also anxious to see how Michalek fits into the Ottawa lineup.

"He's a big boy and he's going to bring a presence up front for us, especially in front of the net," said Alfredsson. "And he's averaged probably 25 goals the past few years, which is a big bonus."

"For a big guy, he's got a lot of speed. From blue line to blue line, I don't know how many people who are faster than him, so expect to see a lot of breakaway speed." - Jonathan Cheechoo
Michalek, a native of Jindrichuv Hradec, Czech Republic, is also eager to play in a Canadian city where hockey is obviously king.

"It's going to be something different for me, coming from California to Canada," he said. "Everybody loves hockey here, so it's going to be a lot of fun. It's a fresh start."

He also received a big thumbs up from one of his friends, Martin Havlat, when the former Senators forward heard Michalek had been dealt to Ottawa.

"(Havlat) told me nothing but great things (about Ottawa)," said Michalek. "I'm sure the fans are great here and it's going to be a lot of fun to play in front of these fans. I'm excited."