The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Still Sign Alex Galchenyuk

Alex Galchenyuk, Toronto Maple Leafs center (Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)
Alex Galchenyuk, Toronto Maple Leafs center (Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs revitalized the career of Alex Galchenyuk during the pandemic shortened 2021 NHL Season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded David Warofsky and Egor Korshkov to Carolina for Alex Galchenyuk mid-way through last season.

Galchenyuk was a decent pickup for the Leafs, and he scored four goals and 12 points in 26 games, which, considering he never played on the top power-play line, is incredible production.

Though he wasn’t living up to his former 3rd overall selection, Galchenyuk did provide the Leafs with a decent depth option and his talent was apparent enough to leave you wanting a bit more.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Alex Galchenyuk

Unfortunately, his comeback was marred by a horrible play in overtime of game six that resulted in a two-on-oh for the Montreal Canadiens, something you almost never see.  Though Galchenyuk took most of the heat on the play, Bogosian is not someone who should ever pinch, especially in OT knowing that the worst defensive player on the team is backing him up.   Blame also goes to Sheldon Keefe for playing so aggressively that such a play would occur.

It was a brutal, costly play, but one play shouldn’t take up too much space in our scouting report of a player. Galchenyuk is an offensively talented player whose production on the Leafs was amazing when you consider he didn’t get much power-play time – his 2.16 points per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice-time was above average first-line production.  (stats

He produced more per minute of even-strength ice-time with Toronto last season than he did during his 30 goal season.  The Leafs, with Galchenyuk on the ice, posted a 57% expected-goals percentage.

Galchenyuk was a great addition to last year’s Leafs, playing most of his time with John Tavares and William Nylander.  If not for a brutal 87% save percentage with Galchenyuk on the ice, the Leafs second line was completely dominant after the addition of the talented Russian.

So why haven’t the Leafs re-signed him?  I would guess it’s that a) they want a tougher look, and b) Galchenyuk is hoping his revitalization can get him a better contract than the near-league-minimum the Leafs are likely offering.

How’s that working out?  Obviously not great.  No other team is going to give Galchenyuk a chance with better players, and though the competition would be stiff to get his job back, he’d  likely have a great shot at reclaiming his spot on the second line.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are great at finding discount players , but hitting on one as talented as Galchenyuk is a rarity.  He fits perfectly with the Leafs other high-end players, and if his defense is lacking, who cares?  It doesn’t really matter how you achieve a nearly 60% expected goals rating, as long as you do.

The Leafs should sign Galchenyuk, and Galchenyuk should be happy enough to still be in the league that he comes back for the minimum.  The summer has proved that it’s going to take more than 26 games to earn a bigger contract and get his reputation back.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs and Alex Galchenyuk are perfect for each other, and they should come to terms on a one year, league minimum deal before someone else snags the extremely talented offensive forward.