With departure talk dominating the headlines, the Ottawa Senators flipped the script on Tuesday.
The Sens have entered into extension negotiations with pending UFA forward Milan Michalek, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The development comes after the Sens had their three-year, $10 million deal to Ales Hemsky rejected and received word that Jason Spezza wants out of the Canadian capital (the captain has already submitted his no-trade list.)
Michalek, 29, rebounded from a serious knee injury to appear in all 82 games last year and steadily improve as the season progressed, finishing with 17 goals and 39 points. The Czech winger played some of his best hockey down the stretch, skating on a line with Spezza and Hemsky while scoring 12 points over the final 19 games.
Michalek just wrapped the final of a six-year, $26 million deal with a $4.33M annual cap hit. It’s unclear what he and Ottawa are discussing in terms of contract length and salary, but the Sens don’t have any cap issues with nearly $20 million in space and 19 players already under contract.
That said, Ottawa isn’t a spend-to-cap team and has been hamstrung by an internal budget before.