Rabid Habs

Is Galchenyuk’s Future Still With The Habs?

Habs' Alex Galchenyuk Photo - Julien Laperriere

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:

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.

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Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @EarlxGreat

9 Comments

  1. Martin pilon

    July 23, 2015 at 9:28 am

    IMO it´s not about money. If it were, he would have chosen arbitration. Therrien and Bergevin, you decide he was ready to play in the NHL 2 years ago. Now, ACCEPT he can makes mistake and let him play.

  2. Jessica-Lyn Saunders

    July 23, 2015 at 10:10 am

    I agree with you 100%. I have no idea what’s wrong with them not coming to an agreement with a great player. Then again, maybe it’s to do with Galchenyuk and not MB. Either way, the signing should happen soon before another team tries to scoop him up.

  3. Habsmandes

    July 23, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Speculation, speculation, he’s an RFA and ineligible for arbitration. Speculation is one of the biggest reason for players to not like Montreal. Please just stick to the facts and make sure your opinion is quoted as an opinion. So much could be written to discredit your credentials regarding what’s written in this piece. Too many people take opinion as fact and the next thing you know the player is gone and having a wonderful career somewhere else.
    Stick to facts and make sure to state your article as an opin ion if it isn’t fact.

  4. Jessica-Lyn Saunders

    July 23, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Hi there,

    I am sticking to the facts and making sure my opinion is quoted as an opinion. However, I disagree with your opinion on how so much could be written to discredit my credentials regarding what’s written in this piece. While it is generally an opinion, it is also hockey news as I reported the ‘contract on hold’ at the beginning of the article. We don’t have a catergory called “Hockey News and Opinions,” so I chose what I thought was correct.

    You’re right, too many people take opinion as fact, but that is their issue and not mine. I also stick to facts and make sure people are always aware when an article is both opinion and news.

    Thank you though, ‘habsmandes’ for the writing/journalism tips. I’m not sure what your credentials are, but I’m sure they’re good enough to bring in some criticism to a FAN website and not a news outlet.

    Have a great day!

  5. Simon Mailhiot

    July 24, 2015 at 8:51 am

    He can’t go to arbitration. A player has to have played atleast 4 years to be eligible. I’m just surprised no one made an hostile offer yet… or are the other GMs aware of his antics?

  6. Oussama BM

    July 24, 2015 at 10:21 am

    He doesn’t have the right to arbitration.

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