Montreal Canadiens: The Unfortunate End of Alex Galchenyuk

Mar 17, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Alex Galchenyuk. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Alex Galchenyuk. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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In the past, I mentioned how it’s likely his NHL career is over, but now it seems like Galchenyuk’s professional hockey career might be over entirely. With his father (who failed to make the NHL after coming over from Russia to play for the IHL’s Milwaukee Admirals) exerting a tremendous amount of pressure on Galchenyuk both on and off the ice even today, you have to wonder if the mental side of his game is just entirely finished by this point, and if there’s any chance it will ever come back.

When a player is mentally broken, it can be a lot harder to come back production-wise. Galchenyuk is essentially having to re-learn/re-remember on the fly how to be a top-scoring contributor in a competitive professional hockey league, something, again, he hasn’t done for years, barring in mind his brief stint in the AHL last year. And expectations in SKA St. Petersburg are high, just like they were in Montreal. No excuse will be tolerable for poor play.

While there’s always a chance he rekindles some of that magic and performs well once more, it seems highly, if not entirely unlikely, by this point. And if he can’t succeed on a team like SKA, it seems doubtful he could do so in a similarly skilled league, and I doubt a player like Galchenyuk would settle for a league in Slovakia, France, or elsewhere.

In the end, Galchenyuk’s career can be summed up as that ring you drop in the sink and watch spin around and around before falling down the drain. Only no one bothered to pick up the ring or even check if it was still in the drain to begin with. It’s an unfortunate end to a once-promising career, but as the 2023-24 NHL season gets underway, there are just as many Alex Galchenyuk’s floating around the hockey world, failed prospects who once, long ago, were the talk of the NHL off-season.

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