I’m not exactly sure how I find myself writing about the KHL once again in a span of two stories, but in connecting back to my last article on former Montreal Canadiens playing in the KHL, this article also happens to include a former Hab, though it’s one most people admittedly would like to forget.
In almost every sense of the word, Alex Galchenyuk’s career has filled out to that of your typical, run-of-the-mill AHL scorer who every AHL team needs, but most already have. On paper, Galchenyuk’s 2022-23 season looked solid for a typical AHL scorer. 16-26-42 totals over 42 games with the Colorado Eagles, plus an 11-game audition with the Colorado Avalanche, posting no points and a -8 rating over 11 games.
While that alone is somewhat of an indicator as to where Galchenyuk stands as a player, Canadiens fans of a certain age like myself will know that 42 points in 42 games (in the AHL) is a bad season for a player with the promise that Galchenyuk once had, after being taken third overall by Montreal in 2012.
Yet, just 11 years later, Galchenyuk finds himself on the outside looking in, even in the KHL, having purportedly been benched just 3:57 into his sixth game with club SKA St. Petersburg. Having long established itself as one of the top teams in the KHL, St. Petersburg hasn’t shown that thus far this season, and the performance of its NA imports, like Galchenyuk and Brendan Leipsic, are partly to blame. With just 0-2-2 totals and a -5 ratings over his first 7 games, Galchenyuk has brought next to nothing to SKA with inconsistencies on both sides of the puck.
After re-signing with the Coyotes early in this past offseason, Galchenyuk was subsequently arrested after being charged with a DUI whilst celebrating his contract with his father, former minor league Alexander Galchenyuk. Along with threatening police and resisting arrest, Galchenyuk ultimately checked into the NHL’s player rehabilitation program and tried to find himself overseas in Russia.
Well, despite being brought in for his scoring, Galchenyuk hasn’t done any of that thus far, having not played a scoring role for years in the NHL, serving mostly as a failed experiment/defensively liable fourth liner for most teams, a far cry from, as stated, his beginnings in the Canadiens organization.