Sunday, August 5, 2012

Alex Galchenyuk Will Get Nine-Game Look With Montreal Canadiens

Alex Galchenyuk's first moments as a Canadien
Greetings addicts!

As October takes its sweet time in arriving, there's more than enough question marks surrounding the Montreal Canadiens.

Most interesting to me is Alex Galchenyuk and what his immediate future holds. After all, when was the last time we had such a highly touted prospect in the system?

Let's just say I wasn't a Habs fan yet.

The "Nine-Game Look"

It's too early to tell if he will be the first draft choice in decades to make the jump to the Habs right away—Petr Svoboda being the last to do so in 1984—but my money is on Galchenyuk getting the nine-game look.

What is the nine-game look? Well, the NHL has a rule that a rookie player can play nine games in the league without it taking a full year off of their rookie status.

In other words, they can still be sent down after those nine games, come up the following year and still be a rookie.

When it comes to the Habs, it could be argued that their second and third lines would do well to play with familiarity players, or that nine games with the big club could negatively effect Gally's confidence.

But these shouldn't be things to worry about.

For the sake of Michel Therrien's head, I hope a good start to the season is in store, but fans will need to exercise some serious patients this time around.

In regards to confidence, well, just look at Mark Scheifele's rookie preseason with the Winnipeg Jets last year. He led the team in scoring with four goals and eight points in five games. Only Mike Ribeiro had more preseason points in the NHL. The Jets then gave him the nine games, where he showed to be lacking a bit of strength.

He was excellent against rookie-laden teams, but didn't learn much about himself until those nine games. Overall, though, it was a wholly positive experience for Scheifele.

Getting Back On His Knee

Unless he falls flat on his face, Gally should start the regular season a Hab for the same reasons Scheifele did. To find out where he's rusty and to really feel where his surgically repaired knee is at.

As former teammate Nail Yakupov will likely join the Edmonton Oilers from the get-go, there is a serious confidence boost to be had for Gally with a full year as the Sarnia Sting's top player—if not the OHL's top player.

That being said, one simply cannot rule out the possibility of him sticking with the team for good after those nine games.

Galchenyuk is a kid with an astonishingly complete game for his age. The only possible thing that could be called a weakness is his physical game, which isn't an essential asset if you do everything else well.

It is my opinion that if this...

...didn't happen, I may not even be writing about him right now.

Someone in Edmonton would be.

What do you guys think about the nine-game look? Are you nervous about the right thing being done to secure his full potential? If Gally maintains as complete a game as he's shown in the past and it translates to the NHL, should he still return to Sarnia for a season? Do you feel he needs to be more physical to be a No. 1 pivot in the NHL?

Let's hear it!

Amos is freelance writer and columnist who covers prospects for He also covers the Habs for Follow Amos on Twitter and Facebook

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America)


Amos.....I don't see this happening.

For the record I still am not sure what changes are in store for us.

Right now however we have 23 players under contract with Subban sill to sign, and this does not include Galchenyuk.

So if Galchenyuk is part of the opening night roster then we will have a 25 man roster meaning we'd have to eliminate 2 players. Mike Blunden is likely one of those guys but who is the other?

Bourque-Pleks-Gio, Paciorety-DD-Cole, Prust-Eller-Armstrong, Moen-Gomez-White, Nokelainen-Blunden.

Blunden will likely be one of those guys who who will be the second?

Every other player is on a 1 way contract right now meaning we risk losing them for nothing via waivers to send them to Hamilton just to give a kid a chance?

Maybe would point to Gomez but i doubt he is sent to Hamilton.

Second reason why I don't see this happening is because the habs want him as a center but right now we have Plekanec, Desharnais, Eller, Gomez on the top 3 lines with White or Nokelainen on the 4th.

Unless MB has wholesale changes planned I just don't see Gaklchyuk being given a shot until next season.


I could see it happening if he has a great camp.
We don't have a lot to lose if he looks like he's ready.
I don't see them keeping him if they don't think he can stick for the season though as it would involve moving Gomez to the minors or elsewhere.
I think that will happen either way if he does not have a great camp.

To take some pressure off, I could see him starting on the wing with Plekanec. He could move to center down the road but this takes away some defensive responsibilities to start.

Not a chance he is playing this fall,dont think any player has ever played 1 year junior and jumped straight to NHL.
Wish him best of luck in Sarnia and best for him.

good article. i enjoy any sort of hab news in the hockey dull month of august!

however, the point of the 9 game tryout is that if a player junior eligible plays more than the 9 games, their contract starts that year. if galchenyuk plays 9 games and then is sent down to juniors for the rest of the season, his contract won't start until the season after, so teams don't waste a season of his production while he plays in junior. a player is considered a rookie until he has played over i believe 24 regular season games. the 9 game tryout is for contract reasons, not for rookie status.

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