This weekend the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes kicked off the offseason completing a one-for-one deal, with Max Domi going to the Habs and Alex Galchenyuk being sent back to the Yotes. At first glance, the swap doesn’t appear to be a bad trade for either team.

Arizona gets a miscast, potential first-line center in Galchenyuk with tremendous upside.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, had little interest sticking with Galchenyuk and unlocking his full potential and see Domi as a competent replacement, which he is.

Montreal’s decision comes down to having no idea what to do with their homegrown, talented goal-scorer, as the 24-year-old was used up and down the lineup, at a position he wasn’t happy with (left wing). Galchenyuk finished second on the Canadiens with 51 points, chipping in 19 goals. It wasn’t his best year – like when the U.S. born player hit 30 goals in 2015-16 – but considering his usage and trust issues from his coach, his production was solid.

Head coach Claude Julien clearly didn’t see eye-to-eye with him and it’s probably best for both parties to start fresh without each other.

With a bigger role in Arizona, there’s little reason to believe he can’t hit the 30 goal mark again. Galchenyuk’s got All-Star skill he just needs to be put in a position to succeed. Landing with the Coyotes should do wonders for his production and confidence.

On the flip side, Domi, 23, is coming off a rough year in the desert. He scored just nine times (four into the empty net) in 2017-18.

Where the 23-year-old excelled, however, was setting up his teammates, as Domi finished third on Arizona with 36 assists. He’s a physical, pesky winger with an OK scoring touch and excellent vision. In GM Marc Bergevin’s eyes, he acquired a younger, cheaper player in exchange for a talent he saw no long-term future with. He immediately signed Domi to a reasonable extension.

Still, I get the feeling the Canadiens should probably take away Bergevin’s phone when he tries to make his next one-for-one deal.

Swapping Galchenyuk out for Domi isn’t on the level of a stink as say, trading P.K. Subban for Shea Weber or dealing Mikhail Sergachev for Jonathan Drouin (it’s unfair to fully say that was a complete bust), but the longtime Canadiens GM’s asset mismanagement plus the organizations handling of Galchenyuk was simply poor.

Montreal needed a number one center desperately, a void the organization tried to fill by acquiring Drouin. Galchenyuk clearly wanted a chance at the position and never got that shot despite being an obvious candidate. Throughout his time in Montreal, Galchenyuk performed mostly as best he could with the opportunity he was given. He was shifted around, criticized constantly and never fully utilized by a team who could have used him. It was weird.

GM John Chayka already said Galchenyuk is going to finally get a shot up the middle.

Bringing in Domi doesn’t plug any of the Canadiens holes, nor does it give them a clearer picture going forward. They’ll save a little bit of salary in cap room over the next two seasons (over $1.8 million per) but that’s not enough to justify the talent decrease.

Domi isn’t going to enter the Canadiens lineup, become a superstar and reset the culture. Its sort of known what Domi is by now – a 50 to 60-point second-line guy who plays the game hard. However, Galchenyuk’s potential is still much higher despite him being a tad older.

The Canadiens settled for a safe choice over development or lineup needs. It’s not a huge loss for Bergevin and company, but constantly downgrading in trades has hurt the Canadiens window big-time. The move won’t propel them forward to contention as they aren’t better after this deal. Arizona, meanwhile, has to be thrilled.

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.

2 thoughts on “The Montreal Canadiens continue to mismanage their assets

  1. Us fans, we judge trade by what we see, but there’s a lot we don’t know. As far as drowngrading in trades. I disagree.
    Drouin played on the top 2 lines and not in his natural position, He will get better. Sergachev played on the 3rd pairing in his natural position and started the year very good, but did not end like he started. For those two as well as the Galchenyuk trade, we will need time to assess those trade. Domi might not have the goals, but he certainly have the primary assists, so he’s responsible for the goals of other players.

    Now the Subban-Weber trade Bergevin won that one. Don’t be fooled by the Norris nomination, that is done by the members of the Associated Press. Subban makes their jobs easier. If I was to ask you who the best offensive D Subban would get the votes hands down, and the same for Weber for being the defensive D.

    The first year Weber had more points than Subban, both missed games, Subban more, but Weber played with a injured knee that happened before Christmas. This is the reason he missed the last 5 games, And the reason we can not project a player that played injured.

    Last year Weber played 26 games 25.5 with a broken foot and torn ligament. On projection Weber would of have 8.46 points less than the offensive D while playing 81 of 82 games with a broken foot and torn ligament. So if Subban is the offensive D and Weber the defensive one why is it that they are so close? Add the defensive side of things and Weber wins this trade. Also note that Subban played with Josi, Ellis and Ekholm. Weber did not have that luxury. With only the small 8.46 points difference while playing 2 seasons with injury, And being 4 years younger. to top that off.

    In conclusion, If you get the top defensive that in one year had more points and in the second had 9 points less on a prorata while being injured than the offensive D, It is beyond comprehension why people still think that Bergevin lost that trade.

    I am axious to see the end of next year, if the Habs stay healthy. I fairly confident that the three will shine. Don’t forget the fact that the Habs were the second most injured, in fact they were in the top 6 in the last three years, but that won’t last. Mark my word the Habs will get at least 100 points next season.

  2. Of the three disaster trades by Bergevin, the Sergachev one is the worst.


    At least the Habs got to see some of the good years by Subban.

    Sergachev will have at least ten years as a potential star (he is still only 19)..As for Drouin….who?

    Oh, and if you look around the league at the media, all of Bergevins’ trades have been called by the better player, and
    that that has always been the player leaving Montreal.

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