Well, that was fast. A day after Brendan Gallagher’s agent said talks on an extension had broken down, the Canadiens announced on Wednesday that the winger signed a six-year extension worth $39 million. The deal contains a full no-move clause (ensuring he’ll be protected in expansion) as well as a six-team no-trade clause.
The breakdown of the deal is as follows:
Gallagher has been a fixture on Montreal’s attack since the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season. He has been one of their top scorers, leading the Habs in goals scored in three straight years, tallying more than 30 in 2017-18 and 2018-19 while scoring at that pace last season which was shortened due to injury and the pandemic.
That helped land the 28-year-old a substantial raise from his current $3.75 million price tag even in this cap environment which hasn’t exactly been friendly for forwards. Statistically speaking, it’s a comparable deal to Chris Kreider of the Rangers ($6.5M) and James van Riemsdyk of the Flyers ($7M) who have similar production in recent years so the price point is about right, even though it’s not going to be anywhere near the bargain deal that Gallagher is on now.
Last month, GM Marc Bergevin had pledged to make Gallagher Montreal’s highest-paid forward. He did just that with this checking in a million above Jonathan Drouin and Josh Anderson’s deals. He also said he knew that four or five years wouldn’t get it done and that also came to fruition.
Looking ahead to 2021-22, the Habs have nearly $66 million committed already after this move and the Jake Allen extension. Phillip Danault, Tomas Tatar, and Joel Armia are all eligible for unrestricted free agency while Artturi Lehkonen, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Victor Mete are all restricted free agents. It’s difficult to see all of them squeezing into $15M or less (while leaving room to fill out the rest of their roster as well). The long-term core is starting to come together but in doing so, there are going to be more inevitable questions about those that haven’t signed yet.