NHL Penguins Zbynek Michalek early yrs Aeros Autographed Yearbook 2002-03 Champs
Many of the players on this team went on to play for other NHL teams. See roster below from 2002-2003 - Calder Cup Winning Houston Aeros Ice Hockey AHL team.
Zbynek Michalek Bio
Michalek left his native Czech Republic to play two seasons for Shawinigan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 2000-02. Undrafted, he signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild on Sept. 29, 2001.
As a rookie pro, Michalek won the Calder Cup with Houston of the American Hockey League in 2002-03. He made his NHL debut with the Wild on Jan. 16, 2004, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Playing in 22 games, Michalek scored his first NHL goal March 9, 2004, against the San Jose Sharks.
The Wild traded Michalek to the Phoenix Coyotes on Aug. 26, 2005. He played all 82 games for the Coyotes in 2005-06, quickly establishing a reputation as a reliable, stay-at-home defenseman. Michalek led all NHL rookies with 166 blocked shots and led Coyotes defenseman in time on ice per game (22:50).
Michalek played all 82 games again in 2006-07, finishing in a tie for third on the Coyotes with 24 assists. He recorded the first three-point game of his career Nov. 30, 2006, against the Los Angeles Kings.
In 2008-09, Michalek played all 82 games for the third time in four seasons and led the NHL with 268 blocked shots. His 22:43 a night led the Coyotes in ice time per game. Michalek led the Coyotes in time on ice per game (22:39) and blocked shots (155) in 2009-10 and made his Stanley Cup debut April 14, 2010, against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Michalek as a free agent on July 1, 2010, and in his first season, he led the team with 149 blocked shots. On June 22, 2012, Pittsburgh traded Michalek to the Coyotes. It was said that Wayne Gretzky, head coach of the Coyotes at the time, was keeping it on the down low that he had his eye on Michalek, in order to avoid losing him to another team.
He played 53 games in 2014-15, but on March 2, 2015, Michalek was traded to the St. Louis Blues. He would only play 15 games with the Blues before signing with Coyotes as a free agent on July 1, 2015.
At the World Championships, Michalek won a silver medal in 2006 and a bronze medal in 2011 with the Czech Republic.
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