Over the next few weeks I'm going to run a bit of a series looking at some players that may be of interest to Edmonton. The first player on this list is Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens are one of the few teams that are in a worse position than the Oilers. Oiler fans were infuriated with the Taylor Hall trade but at least we still have Connor McDavid. The Canadiens trade Subban for Weber and they still have....? Carey Price is having arguably his worst season since joining the league, Drouin has 6 goals in 42 games while the player they traded to acquire him, Sergachev, has 8 goals with the Lightning. Things are not looking good in Montreal.
Friedman has reported that Bergevin is actively working on the rebuild, stating Price and Mete are the only players he views as untouchable. Gallagher is not on that list.
For those not familiar with the player, here's a few things.
Listed as 5′9 and 181lbs the Edmonton native is not the typical Chiarelli player. He is a fast player with great hands who is less likely to throw a big hit and more likely to strip the puck. He struggled with some injuries the past two seasons but aside from that has played full seasons with the Canadiens.
His best season came in 2014-2015 with 24-23-47. The following season he finished with 40 points but did so in 29 fewer games played. This season he has 24 points... numbers which would place him 6th in points on the current Oilers roster. While that may not sound like the top winger Oilers fans want it's the underlying numbers that suggest his offensive totals have been limited by his current team.
Gallagher leads the team in zone exits and is second only behind Pacioretty in shot attempts. In simpler terms when Gallagher is on the ice his team has the puck more often and are not hemmed in their own end. Gallagher is an incredibly effective puck mover and would look great next to say.... Connor McDavid.
Quick side anecdote. I am involved in a fantasy keeper league where at the end of each season I can keep a set amount of players. One of the players I dropped was Drouin to which another person laughed and happily took him. I dropped him because I knew a simple fact: Montreal is where point production goes to die. The team has not had a player reach 70 points since Plekanec did in 09. I firmly believe that if Gallagher played with the likes of Draisaitl or McDavid we would see a spike in production.
Having said all this I cannot imagine Gallagher is a player the Canadiens would want to trade without a great return coming back. He is signed at a great deal of 3.75 million for the next three seasons (another great reason to have him in Edmonton). However Bergevin has made some fairly questionable moves and I do not think it's outside the realm of possibility he could be convinced to make a deal.
- Gallagher is a great puck mover and possession player
- Best season 47 points but numbers suggest would spike in different system
- Signed 3 more years at 3.75
- Bergevin might be a worse GM than Chiarelli
Free agency will likely be too expensive for Edmonton to acquire a top right wing option therefore I believe this is a position that will have to be addressed via trade. Whoever is in charge of this team this summer is going to have to be smart and find a way to address these holes without getting burned in another trade.
Thanks for reading