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Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek undergoes hip surgery

May 9, 2012, 7:54 PM EDT

Zbynek Michalek Getty Images

Marc-Andre Fleury probably gets the biggest amount of blame for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ ugly quarterfinals loss against the Philadelphia Flyers, but their defense had some egg on their faces too. Zbynek Michalek‘s been a disappointment since signing from the Phoenix Coyotes in the summer of 2011 (though not as much as Paul Martin), yet a cleaner bill of health might help him bounce back.

The team reports that he underwent hip surgery today. The Penguins believe that Michalek should be ready to participate in training camp.

Michalek’s contract carries a $4 million cap hit for two more seasons.

  1. sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Great now tell me Paul martin had brain surgery and I’ll feel better about this defense unit going forward.I don’t like to bash a individual but when your making 5 mil a year you expect more. Guess the saying is true ” more money more problems”.

  2. sjsharks66 - May 9, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Agreed, Martin is not worth his contract. Although after Z broke his finger he was a lot better. No more tripping on an opening face off that lead to a goal.

  3. ironcity6pak - May 9, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    AGREED!! Need to do some fishing and find a sucker for Martins contract. Problem is….no sucker will take on his contract.

  4. bmscalise - May 9, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Let’s just clarify the facts:
    1) M and M haven’t been disappointments since they signed. They had poor and inconsistent seasons. Last year, they were a solid shut down pair. People just have short memories.
    2) M and M have served as convenient scapegoats, but the Pens defensive issues cannot be boiled down to them. They were systemic: their systems emphasizes limiting shots over goals and limits physical defensive play for fear of getting out of position. And it made them really, really easy to play against – as a whole. The idea that one guy (outside of Flower) or even two was the cause of that mess is ridiculous.
    3) Michalek had the far worse season. Paul Martin went from a -11 to a +9 when he was separated from Z. And lo and behold, Orpik immediately looked worse when he was paired with Z. Maybe this surgery explains why.
    4) Brooks Orpik had the worst playoffs of any Pens defensemen. He was terrible, especially on the penalty kill. Check out the numbers. It’s just against the rules to say bad things about Brooks in Pittsburgh.

    I would have no issues with either M or M being traded – or even Orpik. And definitely hope the Pens are looking to see what they’ll get, as I’d prefer to keep Matt Niskanen and bring up Simon Despres for good. But I’m bored the the repeated, simplistic assessments that these two are the Pens biggest issue – or that our defense would be immediately better without them.

    Hopefully we’ll see the 2011 versions of these players next year (though they could be a combined +50 and people would still insist they are ZOMG the WORST EVER). I expect both to be back in the fall, like it or not, because Shero won’t make a bad trade just to make a trade (and because the CBA is up and both have limited no-trade clauses). But if there isn’t a major overhaul of the Pens defensive systems – the real, actual issue – it won’t make a difference what happens one way or another.

  5. murtdurt - May 10, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    People forgot with the new cba gm’s are desperately pushing for a 1 contract dump. It’s not like shero is the only gm in the NHL to hand out a bad contract and if that happens Martin will be the first to get buried which will free up cap space for J Staal to resign. That being said bylsma needs to shoulder the blame as well and shero needs to find at least 1 new blue liner because clearly status quo isn’t working

  6. sjsharks66 - May 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    It’s not all their fault but they didn’t make it any better. If I could give up Martin to resign staal I would, who wouldn’t?? Lol
    Michalek has been playing decent while Paul Martin is just kind of out there. Same with orpik though but he will bounce back.

    Looks pens had a GREAT season, post season just got too emotional. It’s fine though, I don’t blame them.

    I have a lot of faith that the pens will have another great season and make it to the finals with a healthy Crosby, Letang and Michalek.

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