It’s been a year to forget so far for Brendan Gallagher. With just nine points on the season, he’s on pace for the worst total of his career. Now, he might not even get close. The Canadiens have announced that Gallagher will miss a minimum of six weeks with a lower-body injury.
Gallagher, 30, had only recently returned from an injury that kept him out a month, playing three games before hitting the shelf again. The energy forward was once the heart and soul of the Canadiens’ forward unit, now he seems an afterthought as they move toward a new core without his help. There have been a lot of miles put on his body over the year, as Gallagher played a give-everything-you-have style nightly, going to war in the corners and in front of the net.
After scoring just seven goals in 56 games last season, and not completing a full 82-game schedule since 2018-19, it’s easy to wonder what the future holds for Gallagher in Montreal. Unfortunately, at least for Canadiens fans, a year before Marc Bergevin’s time as general manager ended, he gave out a six-year extension to Gallagher that will keep him with the team through 2026-27. He carries a $6.5MM cap hit, and holds a six-team no-trade clause.
It’s hard to see any way that Montreal gets their money out of that deal, and while that isn’t a problem this season as they try for the first-overall pick, it could be in the future as they are trying to compete. The best-case scenario at this point is that Gallagher takes all the time he needs to get fully healthy and can come back to contribute down the road.