Rabid Habs

The Champ, the Chump and the Bum, Vol. 11

Brendan Gallagher

Written by: Karine Hains

A bit of a new look for my column this week…Since some of the readership expressed concerns over the fact that the title the Good, the Bad and the Ugly was already used elsewhere,  I put my own spin on it while keeping the general idea of it the same.

The Champ: Brendan Gallagher

Hours prior to yesterday’s showdown with the Sabres, it was announced that Bergevin had signed Brendan Gallagher to a new 6 year contract worth an average of 3.75 million a year. The breakdown of which is as follows according to Pierre Lebrun:

2015-2016: 5.5 M$
2016-2017: 4.5 M$
2017-2018: 2.75 M$
2018-2019: 3 M$
2019-2020: 4 M$ (signing bonus of 1.75 M$)
2020-2021: 2.75 M$ (signing bonus of 1.75 M$)

I have to say that for what Gallagher brings to the table (an excellent mix of talent, skills, energy and leadership) this deal sounds like a bargain to me. Especially if “Gally” (as most fans call him) keeps on improving as he has been since he broke into the line-up. It’s also worth noting that after Bergevin got somewhat burnt on the Subban bridge deal (it would have been heck of a lot cheaper to sign him long term back in 2012 than it ended up being in 2014), he decided to commit long term immediately with Gallagher and I dare say that a similar announcement pertaining to Galchenyuk should follow shortly.

The Chump: Tom Gilbert

Last summer, when Gorges was shipped out to Buffalo for monetary reasons, Bergevin had to get creative and used the money freed up that way to more or less sign two d-men for the price of one. The said defensemen ended up being Mike Weaver (who we already knew and learnt to live with) and Tom Gilbert. To be fair, I think Bergevin did the best he could within the financial restrictions he had but 5 months later, Gilbert has an unfortunate tendency to make us all collectively hold our breath with his defensive game. And not in a good “Subban oh my god here he goes flying towards the offensive zone what magic is about to happen now?” way but rather in a “please don’t mess up” way. Even Michel Therrien seems to have had enough, sending Gilbert to the press box for the last two games. That being said, the results have left us with a sour taste in our mouth, a team which sits atop of the standings should definitely not be beaten by the league’s bottom team two nights in a row…Gilbert’s absence allowed us to get a closer and longer look to the newest member of the Habs D-corps; Bryan Allen which brings us to…

The Bum: Bryan Allen

Granted, he has size and a lot of it but what he doesn’t have (almost at all) is speed. In fact, I think it’s safe to assume that I’m not the only one to be reminded of Hal Gill when I watch him play. His lack of speed was painfully obvious when he was left flat footed at the enemy’s blue line last night while Chris Stewart took flight and went on to score on a breakaway while chased by both Weaver and Allen who just couldn’t catch-up to him. Now though, let’s be honest, did anyone think that we would be getting gold in return for Rene Bourque? No, no one did and it’s not surprising that we’re not astonished by his play but what we all must do is remember that his arrival has enabled Bergevin to sign that great contract with Gallagher. In the meantime, we can expect to get annoyed at Allen a few times in the remaining months of the season although I do believe that it might well be his turn to watch the game from the press box when the Habs visit the Avs come Monday night.
That’s it for this week people, all we can do is hope that the upcoming 4 games will treat us better than the last 3. Colorado on Monday, the Wild on Wednesday, the Hawks on Friday and the struggling Stars on Saturday looks like our Habs have their plate full with this road trip! Go Habs Go! Let’s get back to our winning ways!