In our previous post we talked about the possibility of the Montreal Canadiens trading their captain Max Pacioretty. Today we are going to take a look at one of Pacioretty’s teammates Alex Galchenyuk.
Galchenyuk is a 6’1” 207 lbs center who is currently playing leftwing on the Canadiens third line. He was drafted 3rd overall by Montreal in the 2012 draft. According to capfriendly.com he carries a $4.9 million cap hit and is signed through the 2019-20 season.
According to hockey-reference.com Galchenyuk has played in 378 NHL games, he has scored 99 goals and has 128 helpers. His best season in the league was 2015-16 in which he scored 30 goals and logged 56 points. Last season he only played in 61 games but still registered 17 goals and 27 assists.
Like most of his teammates Galchenyuk has been having a bit of a down year but his 10 goals is third best on the team and his 23 points is tied for first overall.
Earlier in the season Galchenyuk and the Canadiens had a bit of a falling out, mostly caused by the team’s use of the young center, which has led some to speculate that his time in Montreal may be drawing to a close.
Both Pacioretty or Galchenyuk would be a welcomed addition to the Blues lineup and would provide some much needed scoring depth. The decision to pursue one or the other will most likely come down to which player best suites the Blues future plans and which player the Canadiens feel will net them the biggest return.
With Max Pacioretty the Blues get a veteran goal scorer who comes with a smaller cap hit and a shorter term but will turn 30 in 52 days and has most likely already reached his peak. Or in other words a higher floor, lower celling.
In contrast Alex Galchenyuk is 7 years younger and has an additional year on his contract. His offensive numbers are not quite what his captain’s are but we can assume that he has yet to reach his full potential. A change off scenery and teammates could be exactly what he needs to unlock his full potential (it worked for Brayden Schenn) or he could be trending downward and a switch to a different coach and system could further aid in his decline. Think high ceiling, low floor.
If we were Doug Armstrong we would consider Pacioretty the more logical of the two. He gives this team the best shot at a championship this year. His veteran presence in the locker room would be a welcome addition to a Blues team that can sometimes be inclined to drift. Due to his time in the league, it should be easier for him to handle the switch to a different system and coaching staff in a shorter amount of time.
However, if the Blues feel that their best chances to win a cup will come in the future instead of the present then it makes sense for them to take a longer look at Galchenyuk. He gives you youth and and is locked in for an additional year. He also provides the Blues with another option at the center position in a post-Stastny era.
Much like in Pacioretty’s deal, one would assume that the Canadiens would be pursuing a young offensive-defenseman who offers NHL ready talent plus the benefit of youth, either Vince Dunn or Joel Edmundson. Likewise the Blues would still need to move a veteran contract in order to make room for Galchenyuk’s cap hit, most likely Vladimir Sobotka. However, we also would assume that due to Galchenyuk’s youth the Canadien’s would have to ask for more, most likely one of the Blues young prospects like Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, Tage Thompson or a more seasoned talent like Ivan Barbashev.
One might think that the Blues could just throw in a draft pick instead of having to give up a prospect but the Blues traded away their 2018 first round draft pick in the Brayden Schenn deal and the Canadiens already posses an additional two second-round picks in the upcoming draft. It is hard to imagine that the Blues would want to be without a first round pick for two consecutive drafts and I can’t believe the Canadiens have much interest in another second round pick.
Unlike the Pacioretty deal, this deal gives us more cause for concern. While absorbing the departure of a left handed defenseman is well within the team’s capabilities, one has to wonder if the addition of Galchenyuk will make up for the forward talent that will be dealt away.
Don’t do it Doug, stick with Pacioretty.