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A Trip Down Memory Lane

June 26, 2022, 5:58 PM ET [327 Comments]
Karine Hains
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
As the Canadiens get ready to pick first overall at the upcoming draft, today is a good day to remember that they didn’t always pick badly at the yearly picking frenzy. 12 years ago today, they selected Brendan Gallagher with the 147th pick in the 5th round. Gally might not have turned out to be a superstar, but he certainly turned out better than you’d expect a 5th round pick to.

More often than not, late draft pick are a gamble more than anything and the Habs brass decided to roll the dice on Gallagher. While his short stature was a concern, his work ethic, leadership qualities (he wore the C with the Vancouver Giants) and respectable offensive output were sufficient to convince Montreal to make him a Hab, a move they didn’t have to regret.
Since his NHL debut in 2012-2013, Gallagher has played 638 games wearing the Sainte-Flanelle, gathering 381 points and 397 penalty minutes in the process. Over the course of his 10 years in the league, he’s had two seasons of over 30 goals and would likely have had a 3rd were it not for injuries. Personally, I can honestly say that Brendan Gallagher’s style of play and never give up attitude are what got me more interested in hockey again.

The way he gives his all for the team in any and all settings is the very definition of what a proud Montreal Canadiens should be. The man bleeds red, white and blue and would do anything for the Tricolore. I’ll never forget his comeback from injury performance at the Winter Classic in Foxboro in 2016. Having missed a considerable amount of time due to 2 broken fingers after blocking a Boychuk shot, he came back in time to help the Canadiens rout their hated rivals the Boston Bruins 5-1 at the New England Patriots’ home. Gallagher was instrumental in that win, picking up a goal and a primary assist and his joy at taking part in such a memorable game was obvious.

I don’t think anybody can forget his performance in the 2020 playoffs in the bubble and the sheer will and determination he showed to finish the game in which he suffered a broken jaw against the Flyers. It was after those playoffs that then GM Marc Bergevin signed him to a lucrative 6-year contract based mainly on services rendered. Nowadays, his $6.5 million cap hit is rather large for his offensive output, but he remains a key piece of the leadership group and an excellent example to follow for the younger Habs.

It's not out of the realm of possibilities that he could be traded in the rebuilt the Habs are undergoing, although his big contract will likely make teams think twice. If HuGo does ship him out of town though, they will be ripping out a big piece of the heart of this team and a definite fan favorite. Should they do so, they better hope that someone will be ready to take over Gallagher’s mantle and be a positive influence both in the room and on the ice.
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