Galchenyuk: Out of The Habs’ Control

By JD Lagrange – Merely 12 days after signing with the Arizona Coyotes as a free agent, Alex Galchenyuk was placed on waivers by the team for the purpose of mutual contract termination, the team announced.

Scottsdale Police Department has confirmed that Galchenyuk was arrested on July 9th on a number of charges including private property hit and run, disorderly conduct, failure to obey, resisting arrest, threatening or intimidating. On the hit and run incident, police said that “it was only property damage and no injuries.” Jail official said he was booked into city jail on Sunday evening and released the following day on his own recognizance. According to court records, Galchenyuk was arraigned on Monday and will have to appear in Court.

2012 NHL Draft

If we circle back to the summer of 2012, we will remember that the Montreal Canadiens were picking third overall. Marc Bergevin was hired in May as the new Canadiens General Manager and a month later, he was set to announce the Canadiens’ pick with his right-hand man Trevor Timmins. Nail Yakupov was the consensus number one pick but after him, lists were all over the place.

It’s too easy, in hindsight, to redo a Draft. Thankfully, the site had done a consolidated rankings’ list from some of the most prominent draft experts for the 2012 NHL Draft.

Revisionists will claim that the Canadiens should have picked Morgan Rielly or Filip Forsberg but at the time, picking Galchenyuk was not a reach. The only question mark about him was that he had missed a big part of the season due to a knee injury, which turned out not to be an issue in his career.

Habs’ debuts

Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk

Galchenuyk surprised many by making the Canadiens at 18 years of age, straight from junior. Wanting to develop the kid slowly, head coach Michel Therrien, recognizing that the position of center in the NHL brings a lot of responsibilities, decided to play him on the wing most times. While that decision didn’t sit well with some fans, it was the right decision for the kid.

Similarly, the Canadiens also decided to keep their last two high draft picks in Montreal immediately after being drafted: Jesperi Kotkaniemi (3rd overall in 2018) and Juraj Slafkovsky (1st overall in 2022) were management decisions to slowly develop them at the NHL level instead of sending them down for one more season. But I regress… back to the topic.

The young Galchenyuk had a steady, but positive progress in his first four seasons in the NHL, reaching the 30 goals plateau for the first (and only) time in the 2015-2016 season. At that point, he was vastly out-producing all draft picks in his class of 2012. And that’s when things started unraveling for him, and started his downwards spiral.

NHL Standard career statistics
ScorScorScor GoalGoalGoal Shot
Career11 yrs654146208354-852571044221127414:4446.8
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/14/2023.

Fatherly advice

Galchenyuk and the coaching staff started having differences of opinions. Yet, it seemed like the Canadiens’ decisions were working for the young man, but it was reported later that Alexander Galchenyuk senior, the father, had a lot of influence on his son.

RDS reporter François Gagnon reported that journalists often witnessed Galchenyuk Sr. berating his son after games, going as far as telling him not to listen to his coach. As you can imagine, that would not sit well with any NHL coach, even less on guys like Michel Therrien and his boss, Marc Bergevin!

This led to Galchenyuk’s production dwindling down to less than 20 goals each of the next two seasons, forcing Bergevin’s hand to trade the then 23 year-old to Arizona for Max Domi. Galchenyuk scored 19 goals in his first year in the desert, but never managed more than eight goals the rest of his career, bouncing from team to team.

After the trade, teammates went off-the-record confirming that Galchenyuk was constantly communicating his his father via text message in between periods, not a normal practice by NHL players who must focus on the game.


As you can see, contrarily to what some claim, the Canadiens didn’t select the wrong player at the 2012 NHL Draft. They did everything right with his development, at least in my humble opinion.

In spite of lackluster seasons since leaving the Canadiens, Galchenyuk is still one of the most productive players of the 2012 Draft Class. He is, to this day:

  • 7th in GP
  • 3rd in Goals
  • 8th in Assists
  • 5th in Points

When Bergevin said, in the past, that development is not only on the team, but on the player himself, he was right. There are factors that teams don’t control and in this case, an overzealous father giving horrible advice to his son has been a major contributor to Alex Galchenyuk’s downwards spiralling career… getting him to where he’s at today. Get well Alex and cut that umbilical cord with your father… for your own good. It would be great to see you have a good end to your career.

Collateral Damage Of a Stanley Cup Run

By JD Lagrange – As my colleague JAG so eloquently described it, the 2021 playoffs’ run by our beloved Montreal Canadiens was epic, to say the least. Wait, are young folks still using that term to describe how exciting and entertaining that run was for us, Habs’ fans? Next, I’ll turn my hat sideways and wear my pants halfway down my butt showing my underwear! Nah, let’s say that it was electric, breathtaking, heroic, impressive, stimulating, thrilling, mind-blowing, sensational…

But it came at a cost. In fact, this playoffs’ push that saw us so invigorated was the beginning of the end for not only our hopes, but for many people in the Canadiens’ organization. Shea Weber, Carey Price, Joel Edmundson, Paul Byron didn’t start the season

Carey Price had knee surgery after that playoffs’ run. He missed most of last season, coming back on April 15th. He played five games in total but the swelling in his knee came back, and according to Canadiens’ GM Kent Hughes, he will likely miss the entire 2022-23 season. His career could very well be in jeopardy.

Much like his good friend and teammate Price, Shea Weber payed the ultimate price by playing with many injuries, including some very serious ones, for the hope of bringing the Canadiens their 25th Stanley Cup. The captain missed all season and is basically waiting to announce his retirement, due to injuries.

Joel Edmundson missed the first 57 games of the season. One of the four Clydesdales – as qualified by coach Dominique Ducharme – with Weber, Ben Chiarot and Jeff Petry, he was monumental in the Canadiens’ playoffs’ push. His back took a beating for it.

Paul Byron‘s first game of the season didn’t come until January 30th. He played one game, missed a few thereafter. Today, he’s unsure about his future (hip)

Brendan Gallagher, a regular 30-goals’ scorer the past few seasons, only managed to play a total of 56 games last season. His production dropped to seven goals. He wasn’t the shadow of his old self,

Jeff Petry was relatively healthy but a combination of short rest, over-use, playing in a position (first pairing) he’s not cut for, missing his defense partner Edmundson and missing his family who stayed in the US to get help with the kids, all contributed to his worst season since joining the Canadiens.

Further, General Manager Marc Bergevin, Assistant-GMs Trevor Timmins and Scott Mellanby, as well as head coach Dominique Ducharme have all lost their job over that playoffs’ run. Well, they didn’t lose their job because they made it that far in the playoffs, but they sure did because of the repercussions and side effects, the devastating losses caused by that run. They too paid the ultimate price.

That Stanley Cup run came in like a tsunami. It swept everything with it, good and bad, putting us through a range of emotions only limited by our imagination and where we, Canadiens’ fans, stood on different topics. But it did leave a devastating mess behind it. Had the team been able to reach their goal, fans would all claim that it was well worthwhile. But because they ran out of juice against a team that was $18 million over the cap, many are left with a sour taste in their mouth.

So fans, members of the media, before you throw stones at any player, coach or GM, think about the sacrifices these guys have made for the Montreal Canadiens, the fans and the City of Montreal. They made us proud. They brought us feelings that we haven’t felt in years. And they came oh so close. Many paid the ultimate price to make it happen.

Be lenient, understanding and show a little bit of compassion instead of jumping on the bash train. “Oh but it’s their job” simply won’t cut it. It will only make YOU look bad.

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