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Alex Galchenyuk’s contract is arguably the biggest thing left to do on Marc Bergevin’s to-do list this summer.  It’s likely that like many before him, Galchenyuk will be offered a bridge deal.  How much should that contract be worth?

Last season, Galchenyuk set career highs across the board, recording 20 goals and 26 assists in 80 games while averaging 16:25 of ice time per contest. He spent most of the season in a top six role on the left wing but also had a stint at centre where he had some good and some not-so-good moments.

Galchenyuk has shown slow but steady improvement over his three years, besting his career highs each season in goals, assists, points, PIMS, and ice time. While he hasn’t become the star many hoped for, he’s still only 21 and it’s expected that the former 3rd overall pick has another level or two in him. That makes this process a bit trickier as Galchenyuk’s representatives (including agent Pat Brisson) will try to push Bergevin into paying for expected production while Montreal’s GM will be pushing to pay based on what he has accomplished.

Both Brisson and Bergevin will be exchanging figures based on comparable contracts so let’s do the same here. Here are some recent bridge deals that are reasonable comparables for Galchenyuk.

Comparable Contracts

Galchenyuk’s stats for comparison:

14-15: 80 GP, 20-26-46 (0.575 PPG)
Career: 193 GP, 42-62-104 (0.539 PPG)

Jaden Schwartz: $2.35 M cap hit
(2 years, $4.7 million – $2.0 M/$2.7 M)

This contract was signed last offseason with Schwartz playing a similar role to Galchenyuk this past year – predominantly top six minutes on the left side but spent a bit of time at centre. Unlike Galchenyuk though, his deal came after a breakout season where he more than doubled his career point totals.


13-14: 80 GP, 25-31-56 (0.70 PPG)
Career to-date: 132 GP, 34-38-72 (0.545 PPG)


I can see this being one that Bergevin brings up. Both players were first round picks and were perceived to have another level to their game (and Schwartz did, posting career highs across the board in 2014-15). I do, however, think this one is a bit cheaper than what Galchenyuk’s new deal will be.

Tyler Toffoli: $3.25 M cap hit
(2 years, $6.5 million – $2.6 M/$3.9 M)

Toffoli’s deal was just signed a few weeks ago and again, the similarities in role are there. Both he and Galchenyuk are second line wingers at this stage of their career, had career years in 2014-15, and are believed to have another career year or two in them.


14-15: 76 GP, 23-26-49 (0.645 PPG)
Career: 148 GP, 37-46-83 (0.561 PPG)


This is one that Brisson is sure to bring up. Not only is this be one of the pricier bridge deals we’ve seen, it also guarantees a fairly significant qualifying offer of $3.9 million. Personally, I thought this deal was an overpayment by the Kings and I can see Bergevin arguing the same as well.

Brayden Schenn: $2.5 M cap hit
(2 years, $5 million – $2.25 M/$2.75 M)

Schenn, a former top five selection, signed this contract last offseason. There aren’t as many similarities in terms of playing style but Schenn had his struggles at centre that year to the point where they view him as a winger now. Statistically, his 2013-14 season was pretty close to Galchenyuk’s output last year as well.


13-14: 82 GP, 20-21-41 (0.50 PPG)
Career to-date: 192 GP, 40-47-87 (0.453 PPG)


I picked this one more based on perception. A lot of people are disappointed that Galchenyuk hasn’t become a big scorer yet and the thought about Schenn at this time a year ago was the same. There are better comparables in terms of numbers though.

Tomas Tatar: $2.75 M cap hit
(3 years, $8.25 million – $2.75 M each year)

While bridge deals are often thought of as two year deals, they can also be one or three year pacts. Tatar, who signed this contract last offseason, is viewed as a top liner in the future (like Galchenyuk) and in the meantime is seeing pretty good second line minutes (also like Galchenyuk).


13-14: 73 GP, 19-20-39 (0.534 PPG)
Career to-date: 132 GP, 34-38-72 (0.545 PPG)


There’s plenty of reason why Brisson would want a deal like this as it would get Galchenyuk one year and a potential arbitration hearing away from UFA status at age 25. That’s why Bergevin should be dead set against it.

Mika Zibanejad: $2.625 M cap hit
(2 years, $5.25 million – $2.0 M/$3.25 M)

In terms of bridge deals signed this offseason, this is the best comparison. Both were second liners, both are former top-10 picks, and both had identical stats last season. Not close, identical. Heck, Zibanejad even spent time on the wing in his career despite being drafted as a natural centre.


14-15: 80 GP, 20-26-46 (0.575 PPG)
Career: 200 GP, 43-57-100 (0.50 PPG)


Galchenyuk has the slightly better career numbers and was drafted a bit higher than Zibanejad which could give Brisson a small argument to try to best this deal but I see this one being a comparable that Bergevin prefers more.

Projected Bridge Contract

This is a tricky contract because of Galchenyuk’s projected future value. While he’s a quality second liner currently, where will he be two years from now? If the thought is that he’ll be established as a front liner at that time, how much will the deal be backloaded to secure a higher qualifying offer in two years? Will the will he/won’t he question about him playing at centre play a factor? And, of course, will the fact that he was a top three pick earn him a bit extra after the comparable deals are taken into consideration?

As I mentioned before, I like the Zibanejad deal best out of these comparisons. But, I think Galchenyuk’s deal will come in higher as it’s believed that he has a higher offensive ceiling. While the Habs would prefer to pay based on past performance over future projections, there’s bound to be some sort of trade off where they may pay a bit more than his numbers so far might warrant.

As a result, my projection for a two year bridge deal for Alex Galchenyuk is one that carries a cap hit of $2.9 million ($5.8 M total). As was the case with all of the two year pacts in this column, the deal will be backloaded. I’d project something along the lines of $2.3 million in 2015-16 and $3.5 million in 2016-17, which would secure Galchenyuk a strong $3.5 million qualifying offer in the 2017 offseason.