Brendan Gallagher has the heart as big as the Bell Centre, he sacrifices himself for the good of the team and he scores goals. Undeniable qualities that will emerge in its upcoming negotiations with Marc Bergevin.
The fiery striker, who celebrates his 28th birthday on 6 may, will be one of the priorities of Bergevin in the off-season, even if it is still not the time where the current season will end.
To the image of his two companions of the first trio, Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar, the number 11 will play the last year of his contract during the season 2020-2021, and he could become a free agent without compensation on July 1, 2021.
His home in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Gallagher spoke of this reality during a very generous telephone interview with the colleagues in montreal, Thursday.
“It will be a question of establishing priorities. For me, the most important thing is to win, ” said the little right wing. Everyone loves to make money and be in a good city. It is important things. But you have to understand what bonus, and for me, it is to win. I have not yet thought much about it. I was playing. Now, there’s a little more uncertainty. We don’t know when we will come back to the game. I will have decisions to make in the future. I will look at my priorities. But I want to be a winner. “
The faith in the team
Several times, Gallagher has insisted on the concept of winning, creating a winning culture. Carey Price and Shea Weber have already been held this speech in the last few months. In Montreal, the CH has not participated in the series during the past two years and the band to Claude Julien was on the verge of a third suspension of the series before the termination of the season, on march 12.
In five years, Gallagher would, therefore, have missed the playoffs four times, if we included this season, which is still pending. Despite the poor record of his team, he reiterated his faith in the organization.
“I really believe that we can win it, he replied. I was optimistic at the beginning of each year. It didn’t work for the last few seasons. But I believe in this team and I believe in Bergevin. I have a ton of confidence in this organization. A player like (Nick) Suzuki allows me to believe in it. It has a huge potential. You must understand that the youth will ultimately help the team to achieve our goals.
“I can’t imagine a scenario where I can’t beat, year after year, for a chance to win the Stanley cup. It becomes frustrating not to participate in the series. It is important for me, but this is also for my teammates. You want a dressing room, where there is a winning culture. “
A bargain… not for long
Gallagher has scored 33 goals in 2018-2019 and 31 goals in 2017-2018. Without a concussion, and the pause in activities, it was en route to a third campaign of 30 goals, with 22 successes in 59 meetings in 2019-2020.
On the salary side, the CH got a very good return on his investment. Bergevin had achieved one of his very good hits on 29 November 2014 by offering a contract extension of six years and 22.5 million ($3.75 million average) to its combative winger.
There are figures that argue for a serious pay increase. Especially the ratio of goals compared to the salary.
Among the markers 30 or more goals, Gallagher was 2nd in the NHL in 2018-2019 to 113 636 $ by purpose. Only Andreas Athanasiou, then with the Detroit Red Wings, were a better bargain at $ 100,000 per order. In 2017-2018, Gallagher was in the 7th row of the circuit 120 968 $ by purpose.
No amount of head
When asked whether he could find a covenant similar to that of Chris Kreider with the Rangers (7 years and $ 45.5 million for an annual salary of 6.5 million), Gallagher has again hit it on the nail of victory before everything.
“I have zero figure in mind, he said. This will be the job of my agent. I have already lived this experience and I know that he will find comparable. There will be negotiations. The team will have a figure, all as my agent. We will seek to find a compromise. I will not say that money is not important. This is an opportunity to be comfortable for life. It is the dream of everyone. However, this is not at the top of my priorities. To be a winner, and that is the most important. I would like to be recognized as a champion and not to have regrets at the end of my career. “