Grading Brendan Gallagher's season

Brendan Gallagher had one of the healthiest seasons in recent years and was just shy of the 20-goal mark. All-in-all it was a good season for the grizzled veteran.
Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens
Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

While he doesn’t impact the game the same way he once did, Brendan Gallagher has been adaptable. 

It would be foolish to think his hands and wrists are as healthy as they once were. His hardnosed style took a toll on his body, which has slowed down his offensive game. Sure he still heads for the front of the net and battles, most times even after the whistle has blown. 

There isn’t as much zing on his shot or zip on his passes. But his relentlessness has never waivered, nor should it be questioned. His contract is hard to take on the chin, but the 32-year-old still maintains a style that fires up the team every night, which holds value, especially during tough outings. 

Gallagher hadn’t played more than 59 games, since doing so in 2019-20 and hasn’t scored more than 24 points, since recording 43 in the same year. It’s been tough for him to stay healthy, which has limited his production. But this past season saw him score 16 goals, and 15 assists and he played 77 games, the most he has suited up for since playing 82 during the 2018-19 campaign. 

It would be foolish to think that Gallagher will get back to his former 20-goal seasons. But he is the last guy that should be counted out; he is one of the hardest workers in the entire National Hockey League. With an improved forward core, a blueline that has another season of experience under their belt and Lane Hutson joining the fold, there may be a solid chance for No.11 to best his 2023-24 goal total. 

Since he stayed healthy for almost the whole year and had nearly identical goal and assist numbers, he deserves a B+ grade. His goal should be to stay healthy for a full 82 games and to try and beat his 31-point season. If he can hit say 40 points (20+20) and play the full year, he just might be worthy of an A+. 

With the mileage on his body and all the battles he has endured, both from the opposition and sometimes friendly fire. It’s a wonder that he is still able to keep going the way he has. He doesn’t need to be a big point producer anymore, though, so as long as he does as he’s always done, the team will be better for it.