Former Toronto Maple Leafs Player Is Cut From the NHL

Detail view of Bauer skates (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Detail view of Bauer skates (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Ex Toronto Maple Leafs forward Alex Galchenyuk had his only recently signed contract terminated last week.

The business of hockey can be cutthroat. With new younger players hungry to make their mark at the highest level of the game, no job is ever truly safe. This was made clear on Thursday through an announcement about a former member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Arizona Coyotes released a short statement to explain that they were cutting ties with Alex Galchenyuk by placing him “on unconditional waivers for purposes of terminating his contract.”

This likely spells the end for Galchenyuk’s career in the NHL.

Another Former Toronto Maple Leafs Player Is Cut From the NHL

Some fans may remember when Galchenyuk was in Toronto.

His reclamation project with the Maple Leafs was a tremendous success. Despite his boom with the club in the past, Brad Treliving needs to keep the Leafs at a distance from the forward.

At worst, the 29-year-old could be a useful hand playing in the AHL for the Toronto Marlies. During the 2020-21 season, he actually played six contest for them. Galchenyuk played 42 games for the Colorado Avalanche’s farm club, the Colorado Eagles last season. While there, he collected 16 goals and 26 assists. Galchenyuk also played in 11 games for the Avs, where he didn’t record a point.

While it may be tempting for a general manager like Treliving to add more organizational depth, teams need to be careful to cultivate a positive culture. Unfortunately, news was just released that suggests Galchenyuk’s presence would be a hindrance to maintaining such a culture.

The Coyotes released Galchenyuk before the news broke of his arrest. Katie Strang from The Athletic broke the news on Twitter, “NEWS: Scottsdale Police Department has confirmed to The Athletic that Alex Galchenyuk was arrested on July 9 on a number of charges including private property hit and run, disorderly conduct, failure to obey, resisting arrest, Threatening or Intimidating.”

According to USA Today, a spokesperson for the Scottsdale, Arizona, Police Department has said, “the hit and run involved property damage only and there were no injuries.” The NHL Players’ Association is also interested in what took place and has said that they are “reviewing this matter”.

What may be the strangest part of this saga is that the Coyotes had just signed Galchenyuk to a contract on July 1. According to Cap Friendly, Arizona’s GM Bill Armstrong inked the 2012 third-overall draft pick to a one-year, two-way deal worth $775,000. His release comes less than two weeks later.

Some may say that it is too early to give up on the player without all the details being released. For the Toronto Maple Leafs and the rest of the NHL, that’s exactly why they need to be cautious. Arizona hasn’t shared what they know and it doesn’t appear like they will. There is too great of a risk to take a player without knowing exactly what took place.

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Additionally, Galchenyuk’s ability and talent doesn’t put him in an echelon worth taking a risk on. Things would be different and the Yotes would likely not have made the decision they did had it been Clayton Keller or Nick Schmaltz who found themselves in the same kind of trouble.