Galchenyuk signs one-year deal with Senators

The Ottawa Senators dipped into the NHL’s free agent market again by signing ex-Sarnia Sting forward Alex Galchenyuk to a one-year deal Wednesday.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Alex Galchenyuk looks for an open teammate in front of Detroit Red Wings' Madison Bowey during the first period at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich., on Jan. 17, 2020. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

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By Bruce Garrioch

Another day, another signing by the Ottawa Senators, and this one could turn out to be great move.

The Senators dipped into the NHL’s free agent market again by signing forward Alex Galchenyuk to a one-year deal that will pay him $1.05 million for the 2020-21 campaign.

His Los Angeles-based agent, Pat Brisson of CAA Hockey, is confident the former Sarnia Sting captain will have success because he’s hungry after making stops in Arizona, Pittsburgh and Minnesota over the course of the last two seasons.

“It’s one of the most exciting contracts I’ve done in a while,” Brisson told the Ottawa Sun in a telephone interview Wednesday. “I’m not talking about the term or the money, but we’re talking about a young, passionate player. It’s never easy for a player to switch teams, not only once, twice, but three teams in a one year.

“A lot of things happen in these times: You either put your hands up and kind of give up or you roll up your sleeves and kind of look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘How can I be better so it doesn’t happen again?’ The reason I’m passionate is because working with him for a few years I’ve seen in the last few months how he was able to cope with what’s occurred to him.

“He’s always been a hard-working person, but now he’s realized it’s important for him to work on certain aspects of his game. His training has always been good and it’s been fantastic this summer. I’m excited for him and I’m excited for Ottawa. They made a good bet on this kid. He’s only 26, he’s not 32.”

Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion believes Galchenyuk can make an impact wherever he plays in the lineup.

“Alex’s signing represents another good addition for us at forward,” Dorion said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “He’s versatile in that he can play both left wing and centre.

“He’s gifted offensively, has been a solid power-play contributor and is a proven goal scorer in this league.”

Galchenyuk, a No. 3 overall selection by the Montreal Canadiens in 2012, is coming off a difficult 2019-20 campaign in which he had eight goals and 24 points in 59 games.

No, Galchenyuk hasn’t lived up to the expectations of being a top pick, but he did have 30 goals and 56 points during the 2015-16 campaign with the Habs.

He has 135 goals and 320 points in 549 NHL games.

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