Canadians face tough choice with Gallagher - Sports1
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Canadians face tough choice with Gallagher

The Montreal Canadiens are about to restart their 2021-22 season after longer than expected COVID-19 Protocol Suspension. After an 11-day break, the Habs will take on their historic rivals, the Boston Bruins, in Boston on January 12. Rumors abound around almost every player, and Brendan Gallagher No exception.

Gallagher is a whole-hearted player who gives his best in every shift. That and his ability to consistently score on the net are traits all 32 NHL teams would like to have on their rosters.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – FEBRUARY 20: Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) controls the puck as Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning (23) chases him. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire Getty Images)

When it comes to the future of the 29-year-old right-winger, the Canadian has two options, the heart of the team: keep him, or trade him?

trading Gallagher

Jeff Gorton, the new executive vice president of hockey operations, didn’t say whether the Canadians would go through a rebuild, or if they would restructure their roster.But the owner Jeff Molson said He’s not afraid of a full rebuild:

“I’m not afraid of the word,” Molson said Monday when discussing the team’s future. “I don’t think our fans are afraid of the word either.”

– Jeff Molson

Gallagher is the first year of a six-year, $6.5 million average contract. It also includes the six-team no-trade list he will provide before each season. That being said, the biggest hurdles for Gorton to get him moving will be Gallagher’s hat-shooting, his age and the wear and tear on his body with his style of play. If they can skip these questions, they might find a trading partner.

related: Canadians need to start rebuilding with fire sales

A team like Gallagher’s hometown of the Edmonton Oilers needs players like him. However, like most teams, they face a cap and they have to match any money coming in with an equal amount going out, which would limit the value of the Canadiens’ trade. However, beyond the contract they have to accept, perhaps the Habs are interested in a first-round pick or high-end prospect, albeit for a shorter period than Gallagher’s. under these circumstances, Tyson Barry, who has two years left on the $4.5 million deal, could be a good fit and would open up space for one of the Oilers’ prospects on the blue line.

Tyson Barry Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers’ Tyson Barry (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Would Gallagher want to stay in Montreal if it rebuilds? Gorton will have to discuss with the team’s alternate captain.

“This is my 10th season and I’ve always wanted to win. I love this team and this city, but I haven’t taken the time to think about what I would do if management announced a major rebuild. This is what we should be doing in the future discussions.”

— Brendan Gallagher

If he would rather leave, that would be the first step. Next will be a trade, and for the Canadians, any trade is moot without a draft pick or prospect coming to Montreal. The odds of a deal of this magnitude involving Gallagher happening this season or offseason are low.

Gallagher decides stay

The best-case scenario is that Gallagher decides to stay in Montreal. However, it is also possible that there is no taker in the transaction offer, or that Gorton has not found an acceptable transaction. Either way, if he stays with the Canadiens, he will provide important veteran leadership to the young core, not only in the locker room with advice on how to train, eat and professionally, but also their attitude to the game . He puts in 100% on every shift, in an all-or-nothing style. He leads by example, which is invaluable to the young core team.

A fan favorite, Gallagher leading the team and taking responsibility will only make him more beloved by Canadian fans. The organization has been without a professional player for more than a generation, a player who bleeds Blue, Blank and Rouge. The last respectable player to come close was Saku Koivu, but he ended his career with the Anaheim Ducks.

Importantly, he is seen not just as a player, but as a member of the community, just like Koivu. New VP of Communications Chantal Machabee understands the importance of connecting with fans:

“I want people to know that there are heroes in that team. I want fans to know the players better. I want fans to realize that those players are not numbers, they are not statistics; they are people who have their ups and downs, they The best in the world, they have great personalities. They are also generous. They do things that people don’t know, and I want to humanize them, and I know the media needs access to do that.”

Chantal Machabee

There are three important aspects to rebuilding: the assets acquired, the development of those assets, and the fans who accept the plan. Trading Gallagher could help bring in an asset or two that could be important to the team going forward. However, keeping him and making him the face of the team could have a bigger impact on the development of the team’s younger generation and help the fan base connect with the players and better engage in rebuilding plans. It’s up to Gorton and his management team to decide which option will have the most positive impact on the team, and it won’t be easy.

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Blain is a regular contributor to THW Writers. For over 7 years, he has been a part-time reporter and podcaster covering the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens and their affiliates. He has appeared on various TV and radio stations and podcasts discussing the Canadiens and the NHL. Blain takes the lessons of integrity, ethics, values ​​and honesty he learned as a 28-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and applies them to his work as a journalist to guide him in informing readers and he becomes a trusted target A source of information and entertainment.

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