But Michalek does all the basics extremely well and he doesn't shy away from doing the dirty work. Last season, he blocked 271 shots – tops in the NHL.
“I call players like him players that make you win,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett told members of the media before Saturday’s season opener. “They’re usually not the ones on the scoresheet but they’re the ones that usually do the little things that allow your team to win, and he’s very proficient in those areas.”
|Zbynek Michalek deserves to be an alternate captain. |
Tippett and his coaching staff value Michalek and the quiet commitment he has shown the team the past four seasons so much that they asked him to join Ed Jovanovski as an alternate captain this season.
“It means so much to me,” Michalek said. “It’s one of the biggest honors I can get and I really appreciate my coaches and my teammates trusting me. It means a lot. Over the years I’ve been through a lot with this team.”
I asked Michalek if he would alter his quiet approach.
“No, I’m going to be the same as always,” Michalek said. “I am not a vocal leader and everybody knows that. I want to lead by example on and off the ice by the way I practice and carry myself. I always give 100 percent and hopefully the team will see that and follow me that way.”
Captain Shane Doan
endorses the coach’s choice.
“It’s a great decision,” Doan said. “Z is a guy that if you go around the room, every single guy respects him so much for the way he plays and what he does for his teammates and how he continuously puts his body on the line every single night.”
Tyson Nash made his debut as the new TV Color Analyst and did a nice job.
|Tyson Nash (right, with Bob Heethuis) will be working TV and radio broadcasts this season. |
Before the game, I spoke to Doan about his long-time buddy and how he thinks he will do replacing Darren Pang.
“He’s going to do a great job,” Doan said. “His personality is going to come out and when his personality comes out he’s such a likeable guy.”
Sensing he was praising his pal just a little too much, Doan quickly added: “It kills me to say it, but you’ve got to give him his compliments.”
Thanks for reading.