- The Recap: Game 5 – ECQF: Rangers vs. Habs
- The Recency Bias: Round 1 – Game 5
- What Just Happened? Rangers top Habs 3-2 in OT
- The Forum: The First Round… So Far
- Dwight King Not Proving His Worth
- What Just Happened? Rangers Even the Series
- The Recap: Game 4 – ECQF – Habs vs Rangers
- The Recency Bias: Round 1 – Game 4
- Montreal’s trade deadline acquisitions are paying off
- What Just Happened? Habs quiet Rangers, take 2-1 lead
Is Galchenyuk’s Future Still With The Habs?
- Updated: July 22, 2015
According to RDS.ca, contract negotiations between Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin and Alex Galchenyuk‘s agent Pat Brisson are officially at a stand still. Brisson confirmed today that all parties involved will resume talks eventually but as of right now, things are at a dead end.
The 21 year old right-winger has been with the Canadiens since the 2012-13 season, when he was drafted third overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. In his first 48 games with the Habs, he managed to round up 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists), and recorded 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) during the 2014-15 regular season.
While many have been speculating the return of Galchenyuk, it doesn’t seem surprising that talks about him returning in a CH sweater for the long run are in question. On June 22nd, he fired his long-time agents Igor Larionov and Ian Pulver, who both came out with a statement expressing not only their disappointment in number 27, but also that he wasn’t happy with his ice time and the fact that coach Michel Therrien would bench him in some situations. Larionov went on to say, “I tried to make him understand that he has to be patient. I had to wait when I was a young player; every great player has a time when he’s going to be on the bench, but you have to learn that’s part of the game.”
It was also announced on July 3rd by Jonathan Bernier in an article for Le Journal De Montréal that Galchenyuk’s dad was the main reason behind the split with Larionov, as he seems to have a strong influence on his son’s career and that Galchenyuk was seen as the breadwinner in the family. However, Bernier’s sources appear to be false as Anna, Alex’s sister, spoke out on Twitter to TSN 690 Montreal’s Tony Marinaro and explained her feelings towards the article:
— Anna Galchenyuk (@Agalchy) July 3, 2015
— Anna Galchenyuk (@Agalchy) July 3, 2015
While it’s not 100% known whether or not Galchenyuk is extremely sheltered by his family (more specifically his father) and while it’s not confirmed that they’re the reason behind the delay in his signing, there is definitely more to this negotiation problem that we’re not being shown.
Centre vs. Right Wing
Galchenyuk played for the Sarnia Sting in the OHL as a centre. Sting coach, Jacques Beaulieu, moved him to the wing in order to keep the solid line of Charles Sarault and Reid Boucher. The boys had a formidable line and with Boucher already at centre, Galchenyuk played wing. Grabbing 61 points in 33 games, Galchenyuk saw great success on the wing which makes sense to why the Habs started him on the wing when the lockout ended. With a 48-game season, without missing a shift, and grabbing 51 points (17 goals, 34 assists), it seemed natural (and still seems that way) to keep Galchenyuk where he was playing before. However, when you search his stats on the Montreal Canadiens website, he is listed as a centre. Are the Habs missing something?
Therrien has only used Galchenyuk as a centre for only a handful of games during the 2014-15 season, being temporarily alongside Max Pacioretty where a nice offensive production emerged. However the offense dried up quickly and he was put back on the wing, which makes some wonder if he is being underused and should be given the chance to grow as a centre. While Bergevin made it clear on May 15th that, “At the end of the day, [Galchenyuk] may never be a centre. Right now it doesn’t look like he ever will be. He might be, he could be, but I don’t want to just focus on him. Playing centre in the NHL is not that easy, when he was [playing junior] in Sarnia, they put him on the wing. So maybe they saw something that we saw,” a six foot one centre over David Desharnais, a five foot seven centre makes a lot more sense. All in all, in order to succeed, there needs to be a shuffle in order to find what lines work better than others and while Desharnais had a 52.9% in the face-off circle and posted some great numbers during the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, he just doesn’t cut it as a top centre guy (or in most fans opinions, doesn’t cut it as a member of the Habs at all).
Could this be the reason behind the delay in talks between Bergevin and Brisson? Well, it definitely shouldn’t be ruled out, considering that was Galchenyuk’s main concern in the first place, but how do Habs fans feel about the situation overall?
“So how long until #FireBergevin replaces #FireTherrien? I’m sure it’s coming…” – @freudensteiner
“don’t have a problem with giving him a bridge deal but when max and price contracts are up b hard to sign all 3 to big pay days” – @TheRealRKuldys
“Ewewewewew.” – @Glaucus01
“Yeah, I assumed this would happen. Transition best optin, more UFAs next year=more cap room.” – @andrewdichiaro
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to play games with him, every gm in the NHL knows his talents and their just waiting” – @canada74
The fact of the matter is that Alex Galchenyuk is the real deal and whether he would be placed on the wing this season or given the chance to really prove he’s a solid centre, he would definitely be one of the key roles in the Habs success during the 2015-16 regular season. However, it’s starting to look like an agreement between the club and Galchenyuk and company might be delayed until September or (if the extreme happens) December. As for whether or not Galchenyuk still wants to put up with Therrien’s coaching in the long run, only time will tell.
Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @EarlxGreat