It's been two weeks since Alex Galchenyuk fired his former representation, Ian Pulver and Igor Larionov of the Will Sports Group. He replaced them with the super agent known as Pat Brisson, from Creative Artists Agency.
Now that Brisson and Galchenyuk have had a few meetings, we can assume that the negotiation process with the Canadiens is back on track.
Pierre LeBrun has confirmed that the team is pushing for a bridge contract.
Hearing Montreal is making headway on a bridge deal for RFA Alex Galchenyuk, talks still in progress— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2015
There are two recent bridge deals that can give us a good idea of how much Galchenyuk will fetch; Mika Zibanejad and Evgeny Kuznetsov. They both signed two-year deals, with an average annual value of $2.65M and $3M, respectively.
On the surface, Galchenyuk's point production is very similar to the two, therefore he should command a similar contract. However once we dig a little deeper, it starts to become clear that Galchenyuk has been slightly more productive over the last few years. He's also the youngest of the group.
Here's how they performed last season
Both Zibanejad and Galchenyuk produced identical all-situation scoring last season, with 20 goals and 26 assists in 80 games. Kuznetsov only managed 37 points, including 11 goals.
Once we apply an even-strength filter, the value of their 5 vs 5 production becomes a little clearer.
(G/60 = goals per 60 minutes, A/60 = assists per 60, CF% = Corsi For %, TOI = Average time on ice per game, ISC = individual scoring chances, ZSO%= offensive vs defensive zone starts relative to the team. All stats are sourced from war-on-ice.com)
Galchenyuk is better offensively, however he did enjoy more favourable zone starts, as well as extra ice time.
When it comes to defense, Zibanejad is the player who shows the most awareness, allowing fewer scoring chances against when he's on the ice than his competition. The Senators deserve some credit for signing Zibanejad to such a reasonable deal.
What should we expect from Galchenyuk's upcoming bridge deal? He's the best player of the three from an offense standpoint, which is something general managers tend to focus on. He also just turned 21, and is an important offensive cog in what is generally an anemic Montreal Canadiens' scoring brigade. Don't be surprised if he ends up as the best paid player of the three aforementioned forwards, with the AVV possibly rising all the way to $3.5M per year.