Montreal Canadiens Need to Re-sign Alex Galchenyuk

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With training camp just under two months away,Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin has made all the big moves to start the 2016-17 season.  Bergevin’s next move should be to re-sign Alex Galchenyuk as soon as possible. The team doesn’t want another ugly situation where a star goes to arbitration, as was the case with ex-Canadien P.K. Subban.

Montreal Canadiens Need to Re-sign Alex Galchenyuk

Galchenyuk’s two-year, $5.6 million contract ends at the end of next season. He is looking at a significant raise to his next deal already and if Bergevin continues to wait to sign the contract could only become more expensive for the Canadiens. For Galchenyuk,  it could be smart to wait before signing the extension considering he can improve on what was already a career year.

The first half of the season was rough for the 22-year-old, as a fight with ex-girlfriend took centre stage around the Canadiens organization in mid-January. At the time, Galchenyuk was playing as the team’s second line centre, but after the incident, he was back over to the wing yet again.  He also lost confidence in himself for a brief period before he found it again in time to show the team where he belongs.

After having an incredible second half of the season, Galchenyuk proved himself as the team’s first line centre.  Galchenyuk finished the season with 11 goals and 17 points in his final 17 games. Despite the fact that Galchenyuk’s statistics towards the end of the season were that of a hot streak,  he has the potential to score 65 points next season. Barring he struggles to stay consistent or an injury, Galchenyuk will likely only improve on his 30 goals and 56 points as he is still yet to hit his prime.

Playing alongside captain Max Pacioretty can only improve both his goal scoring skills as well as his playing making skills.  This will help Galchenyuk to get more money, as the two are a double threat together and are even more deadly with workhorse Brendan Gallagher.

As of right now Galchenyuk would probably get something around $5.5-6 million per year for around six-seven years.  That would be of course if Bergevin can come to terms with Galchenyuk before the beginning of the 2016-17 season. If Galchenyuk continues to progress, he could easily get over $6 million if the Canadiens wait until next summer to sign their top centre for the future. With other contracts to key players expiring soon after his, the Canadiens will need to get the best value possible with their contracts to keep the Cup window alive.

The chances of a deal occurring before next summer aren’t very high, but Bergevin should at least make it a priority for the rest of the summer. The money he can save by signing Galchenyuk early could be key in shaping a better Canadiens team for the future.  He also can’t afford to low-ball the budding star in negotiations. Therefore it won’t be an easy process for the GM when it’s time to get the deal done.

On the other hand, Galchenyuk will be coming into the 2016-17 season on a mission to prove to management just how much he is worth to the organization. Expect him to have an even better year with all his focus on hockey, while playing on the team’s top line.

Comparable Contracts:

Winnipeg Jets centre Mark Scheifele recently signed an eight-year deal worth $6.125 million per year.  Scheifele put up a career high with 29 goals and 61 points with the Jets last season.

Nashville Predators re-signed Filip Forsberg to a six-year, $36 million contract. He scored 30 goals and 64 points last season.

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