The last of the big outstanding unsigned pieces of the Montreal puzzle has been taken care of, as the team came to terms with restricted free agent forward Alex Galchenyuk on Wednesday afternoon.
The two sides came to a new 3-year, $14.7 million agreement, bringing the 23-year old back into the fold, despite a number of trade rumours throughout the summer. Once Alex Radulov's deal was done in Dallas, it made sense to bring Galchenyuk back, as there were some concerns out in the public, that the Canadiens couldn't afford to bring both back.
Last season, Galchenyuk finished 124th among all forwards in scoring with 17 goals and 44 points in 61 games, having missed time with knee problems. His numbers are not quite where they probably should be by now in his career trajectory, which has made him into a little bit of a bust pick in the hockey pool draft, as his value was around the 7th round last year.
There is some optimism for the coming season though, especially with the acquisition of Jonathan Drouin from the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Canadiens may have an electric forward that could bring Galchenyuk out of his rut. I wouldn't get too high on this combo quite yet, unless I was looking for a high risk/high reward gamble. I would personally be looking to make either one into somewhat of a bargain pick, if possible.
|Tomas Plekanec||6.000||Shea Weber||7.857||Carey Price||6.500|
|Jonathan Drouin||5.500||Jeff Petry||5.500||Al Montoya||1.063|
|Alex Galchenyuk||4.900||Karl Alzner||4.625|
|Max Pacioretty||4.500||David Schlemko||2.100|
|Andrew Shaw||3.900||Brandon Davidson||1.425|
|Brendan Gallagher||3.750||Jordie Benn||1.100|
|Torrey Mitchell||1.200||Zach Redmond||0.613|
The Canadiens remain in good shape for the coming season, despite spending a bit of money on Drouin and Galchenyuk, while adding Ales Hemsky and Karl Alzner to the mix as well. The 23-man projected roster above is currently coming in at $67.8 million, with a buyout also on the books. That is leaving the club with $7.2 million in cap space, with the rest of the summer to tinker.
Undoubtedly, the possible combination of Drouin and Galchenyuk is appealing on paper and does carry the potential of solving a good portion of the Canadiens' scoring woes, but their depth beyond those two still leaves me with an uneasy feeling, suggesting that they are still missing that special something. The downwards trend of Tomas Plekanec and wondering who is going to feed Max Pacioretty the puck next season is still quite concerning. Oh, and let's not forget that we still haven't found where Brendan Gallagher disappeared to last season either.