While the NHL season was shortened by the pandemic, so did Alex Galchenyuk’s already short time with the Wild, possibly. We’ll take a look into his time in Minnesota and make argument’s whether or not to resign him
On February 10th, 2020, Bill Guerin and the Minnesota Wild pulled the trigger on a long-awaited but expected trade by trading Wild Fan Favorite Jason Zucker to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk, Calen Addison and a 2020 1st round pick* (could be deferred to 2021 should Pittsburgh miss the playoffs),
One of those pieces, Alex Glachenyuk, has become a journeyman recently in the NHL. After spending his first 6 seasons in the NHL with the Montreal Canadians, who drafted Galchenyuk 3rd overall in 2012, was dealt to the Arizona Coyotes for rugged forward Max Domi. After only one year in the desert, Galchenyuk was dealt again, this time to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Phil Kessel deal. Galchenyuk’s time in Pittsburgh lasted 45 games before being dealt to Minnesota.
Galchenyuk would be scoreless in his first 3 games with Minnesota but did see a definitive bump in his ice time going from 3:02 TOI in his final game with the Penguins to 12:26 TOI with Minnesota. Alex’s big breakthrough moment with the Wild would come February 19th, an away game vs the Canucks, given a significant amount of playing time with 14:23 TOI and was given a shot on the power play. Did I mention the shootout winner?
After the game against the Canucks, it would seem that he would become comfortable in the Wild line up and begin to see upwards of 17 minutes of ice time a game, more power-play time and even a shot to play center, a position in which the Wild are needing bad.
General Manager Bill Guerin had essentially brought Galchenyuk in as a place holder in the Wild lineup to fill in for an absent Jason Zucker. With the shortened NHL season, Was Galchenyuk’s “Prove it” enough for Bill Guerin to re-sign the pending UFA?
All in all, even with the short season and short time we’ve all seen Galchenyuk with the Wild, one of the things that been known about him is that he’s a super hard worker and will continue to be just that. He’s versatile in the sense that he can play a 2-way game, powerplay, and is a Center, which the Wild lack. Good size to at 6’1″ and 207 lb stature.
If the sample size wasn’t enough for Guerin and the Wild, they could look for someone better suited for that star Center position the Wild so greatly desire. Although Galchenyuk is a hard worker, there are still flaws in his game such as a lack of defensive-minded game and a bit slow at pace.
Will we see more of Galchenyuk in the future with the Wild? Or will he continue with his journeyman NHL rollercoaster?