Photo via USA Today – Eric Bolte
Alex Galchenyuk signed a three-year contract at $4.9 million AAV with the Montreal Canadiens after filing for salary arbitration.
This might have come as a surprise for some, as there were a few rumors that Montreal was looking to trade him. The term of the contract is a bit surprising given that he’s proven himself in the league as both a winger and centermen. This past season he played 61 games and tallied 17 goals and 27 assists. The previous year he played 20 more games and reached a career peak of 30 goals and 26 assists.
Going into the next season, his spot in the line-up is a toss-up. Claude Julien may use him as a center or keep things the same as the past season and have him play left wing. When asked in a conference call about where he’d like to play, he had this to say:
“Actually, the part of the negotiation and the clause I put in the contract is whenever I get asked this question I can walk away from the scrum now (laughs). No, I’m just kidding.
“I’ve been answering this question for so many times that for me, like I’ve said before, I’m a hockey player and my main thing was to re-sign in Montreal as soon as possible, and I’m really happy with the deal.
“To be in Montreal, I love the team, I love the fans, I love the city, and playing at Bell Centre in front of the fans in Montreal, that’s what brings the passion out of me. I really don’t focus on playing center or wing. We have a great coach that will decide where to put me and I know what’s my skill-set and what I can bring to the table. It won’t be a big issue where I play.”
Regardless of what position Galchenyuk ends up playing, it’s likely his scoring will improve. Montreal’s offense is looking strong, especially with newly acquired players, Jonathan Drouin and Ales Hemsky. With the Canadiens contending the past few years but missing the playoffs two years ago, it’ll be interesting to see which Montreal Canadiens team shows up this season.