When the San Jose Sharks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight, they’ll see two very familiar faces in the road whites for the visiting team. Lining up for the Sens will be Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan, both of whom are well known in San Jose for very different reasons.
Ryan played for the Anaheim Ducks for six seasons before they (finally) traded him away over the summer. Ottawa won the long-running Ryan sweepstakes, and moved some serious futures to acquire the four-time thirty goal winger. He’s now the go-to man on the team, which is very different from the situation he was in with the Ducks.
He always played second fiddle to Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and was involved in trade rumors for the better parts of three seasons. Ryan has settled in nicely with his new teammates, and has posted three points through three games while taking nine shots.
Since he played with a divisional rival for more than a half-decade, Sharks fans know exactly what they’re dealing with in Ryan. He’s a strong forward that is dangerous any time he enters the offensive zone.
While the familiarity with Ryan was likely bred in contempt, Michalek should elicit a more positive response. He was an outstanding player for the Sharks for four seasons, racking up at least 20 goals in each of his full-time years on the team. The hulking winger was part of the deal that allowed San Jose to acquire Dany Heatley in 2009, and Michalek hasn’t slowed down one bit since the deal.
While he struggled to find his footing in 2013 due to injury, he’s looking strong and healthy so far this season. Although he’s wearing a Senators jersey now, it’s always fun to see how players from teams gone by are looking and performing later on in their careers. San Jose’s faithful will get the chance to check in on Michalek tonight.