|After spending a month in Montreal following surgery and then returning to the Czech Republic for a month, Michalek is back in Montreal training with the likes of Martin Havlat. (TONY CALDWELL/QMI Agency)
Milan Michalek will be ready to roll this season.
Nearly recovered from knee surgery for an ACL he re-injured in the club’s first playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Michalek told the Senators’ website Friday he believes he’ll be ready to go.
After spending a month in Montreal following the surgery and then returning to the Czech Republic for a month, Michalek is back in Montreal training with the likes of Martin Havlat.
“I’m getting ready for the season here,” Michalek said. “I’ve started skating and I’ve felt pretty good.”
He was injured on March 18 against the Atlanta Thrashers, but tried to play through it so he could participate in the playoffs. Michalek, dealt to the Senators as part of the Dany Heatley trade, finished with 22 goals in 66 games.
In an e-mail, Michalek’s agent Allan Walsh said his client has worked hard since the procedure to ensure he’ll be ready to play.
“Milan’s recovery and rehab from knee surgery has been on schedule and without any complications or setbacks,” said Walsh. “He is in tremendous shape, training hard in Montreal with a group of other NHL players. We expect him to be ready to go by the start of training camp.”
New coach in Bingo
The Senators have named Kurt Kleinendorst coach of their AHL affiliate in Binghamton. He was coach of the Team USA national development team program last season and will replace Don Nachbauer, who resigned at the end of the season for personal reasons.
Kleinendorst, 49, a Grand Rapids native, coached the New Jersey Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany from 2006-09. He was also an assistant coach on Larry Robinson’s staff with the Devils in 2000-01.
Senators assistant GM Tim Murray was impressed by Kleinendorst, who had the option to return to the NHL as an assistant coach.
“He wanted to be here. He had other options,” said Murray. “We were impressed with his passion for the game and the way he is behind the bench.
“A lot of guys are turning pro and we needed a guy that can teach. We need a guy that knows the game inside out and he certainly does. We needed more of a teacher and a communicator than a disciplinarian. He can do that. He can put the hammer down. He’s not that. He’s a teacher. He’s a student of the game.”
He met with GM Bryan Murray and Tim Murray at Scotiabank Place and Kleinendorst said he couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
“I got a call and told them I would be interested. This is a tremendous opportunity. A great organization and I’m excited,” said Kleinendorst.
The Senators signed minor-league blueliner Andre Benoit Friday. The 26-year-old spent last season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton, where he had six goals and 30 assists in 78 games.