Montreal Canadiens: Brendan Gallagher Going Nowhere This Offseason

Mar 3, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens have some difficult decisions to make this offseason.

Not so much that the decisions are difficult, but being able to pull it off is not going to be easy.

What the Canadiens clearly need to do is clear out cap space. They were the worst team in the league this season and they had the league’s highest payroll. They spent more money than anyone else only to be worse than everyone else.

That’s a bad combination. They need to get a lot better and they have no money under the cap to do it. So, priority number one this offseason is going to be clear out some cap space. Then the team can go about trying to get better.

There are a lot of candidates on bad contracts that the Canadiens would like to move out. Joel Armia, Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, and Mike Hoffman are players that didn’t produce at the level their payday would suggest they should.

But getting another team to take on their contracts would be difficult.

Jeff Petry is a player who still has value that could be moved to open cap space, but that would open a huge void on the right side of the defence as well.

It will be interesting to see which veterans get moved out this offseason, but after listening to end of season media availabilities, it has become clear that Brendan Gallagher will not be among those that are shipped out.

General Manager Kent Hughes spoke about Gallagher and said that he hopes the player returns and has a much better season.

While that isn’t the highest praise, Hughes did go on to speak about the importance of having leadership on the team and that to build the right atmosphere in a dressing room you need to have positive veterans in the room to guide the younger players along.

While he didn’t mention Gallagher by name, that description is clearly one that brings Gallagher to mind. The new management team puts a high level of importance on leadership and the team recently lost Shea Weber to injury and could lose Carey Price in the same fashion.

There is no way they trade Gallagher as well, completely stripping the team of its leadership core.

Hughes has a difficult job to do in preparing the Habs for next season while dealing with the cap that is only going up by $1 million. That might mean trading Drouin, or finding a taker for Hoffman or swapping Petry for a draft pick or prospect.

Gallagher had an ugly first season on his six year contract with a cap hit of $6.5 million, but don’t expect him to go anywhere anytime soon.

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