After a training camp tryout and an AHL PTO, Alex Galchenyuk has secured another NHL deal. The Colorado Avalanche have signed the veteran forward to a one-year contract for the rest of this season. According to Chris Johnston of NorthStar Bets, the deal is worth a pro-rated $750K, the league minimum. If the team wants him to continue in the minor leagues, he would have to clear waivers.
This may well have come a few months earlier had Galchenyuk not suffered an injury in camp that ended any chance of him starting the year with Colorado. At the time of his injury, head coach Jared Bednar had explained that the team would reconsider a deal when the injury was dealt with. Earlier this month, that resulted in an AHL tryout with the Colorado Eagles, where Galchenyuk managed seven points in seven games.
The 28-year-old forward has had a fascinating career thus far, one which includes a 30-goal season and seven different NHL stops. The third-overall pick from 2012 has the obvious skill required to compete at the NHL level and over the years developed a strong work ethic, but his game is still rife with inconsistency. He will look like a difference-making player for three shifts in a row, and then be completely out of position on the next.
Still, over the last few years, Colorado has built up a reputation for finding the perfect fit for players who may have been cast off from other organizations. Valeri Nichushkin may be the best example – the big Russian was once bought out by the Dallas Stars after going an entire season without scoring a goal, only to develop into an elite two-way winger for the Avalanche. Players like Ryan Graves, Jacob MacDonald, Kurtis MacDermid, and Jack Johnson have all found fits with the Avalanche after other teams moved on, learning how to play a specific role.
If Colorado can do the same with Galchenyuk, there is at least enough history to suggest that he can become a valuable piece this season. Given how their forward depth has been tested with injury so far, there will certainly be an opportunity for him to prove he still belongs. There is probably no better chance coming for Galchenyuk, so he’ll have to make the most of this one.