The New York Islanders still have a gap in the middle of their lineup. Addressing it could go a long way to pushing them over the top not only in their division but in the league. And Alex Galchenyuk is just that guy.
It’s true the New York Islanders need a center. They already have one of the ten best in the league in John Tavares but after him the center depth chart gets pretty slim. Sure, Mathew Barzal could be a great center and he’s certainly second on the chart, but there’s a big asterisk next to his name.
Because who knows what Mathew Barzal can be. He’s looked good so far. He’s not on the score sheet just yet, but he’ll get there.
Meanwhile, the Isles are using Casey Cizikas as a third line center and Brock Nelson on the fourth line. Cizikas at third line duties might just be limiting the output of youngsters Josh Ho-Sang and Anthony Beauvillier. And Nelson on the fourth line isn’t the spot for a guaranteed 45 points.
But that’s just how the pickings are down the middle for the New York Islanders. What if we could acquire a young center that’s been maligned by his GM and coach for the last few years? What if the Isles could acquire Alex Galchenyuk?
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Galchenyuk is a dynamic offensive player. He’s got hands, vision and he’s got a wicked shot. He’s great on the power play and he’s great at zone entries. But his team just doesn’t like him.
They don’t want to play him at center, even though he’s a natural center. They don’t like his responsibility defensively.
All this has made Galchenyuk available to the team that wants him. Yes. He just signed a three year $14.7 million extension to stay in Montréal. But that is by no means a vote of confidence from management.
So why do we want him? Let’s not forget this is a 30 goal scorer just a season ago. He’s also put up double-digit points on the power play over the past four seasons. The Isles are 0/9 so far on the man advantage. They could use the help.
Whats The Deal?
The Montréal Canadiens need help on the defensive end. Letting go of Mikhail Sergachev in the deal for Jonathan Drouin didn’t help them. But they have a need and the New York Islanders have the assets to make the deal work.
They can take their pick of Calvin de Haan or Thomas Hickey. I expect they’d rather Hickey for his Corsi prowess. That fits with coach Claude Julien‘s M.O.
Add Brock Nelson to give the Habs an option at center that can score some goals for them. Something they’ll need after the loss of Alex Radulov in free agency this summer. And then a second-round pick in this season’s entry draft. We have two after all.
It’s a trade speculation so who knows what the Montréal Canadiens would actually want. Maybe they’ll take more fourth line players to stock their lineup. That would certainly fit their GM’s M.O.