Brendan Gallagher and his Montreal Canadiens teammates won’t look back on this season with any fondness. With the Habs facing a rebuild, there’s speculation the 29-year-old winger might prefer joining a rising club with a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup.
The Montreal Gazette‘s Stu Cowan wondered if the Los Angeles Kings might have an interest in Gallagher. He thinks Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes could prefer shedding the remaining five years of the winger’s six-year, $39-million contract. Cowan also pointed out that former Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin, who signed Gallagher to his current contract, is a senior advisor to Kings GM Rob Blake.
Gallagher’s former linemate Phillip Danault headed to L.A. last summer and is enjoying a resurgence with the Kings. Cowen observed they’ll free up some cap space with 37-year-old winger Dustin Brown’s contract coming off the books following this season. Cap Friendly shows them with a projected $22 million in cap space, more than enough room to absorb Gallagher’s $6.5-million annual cap hit.
At first glance, Gallagher seems like a fit with the Kings. They’re emerging from a rebuild with plenty of promising young talent in their ranks. He would provide the Kings with an agitating scorer who would provide a measure of experienced postseason grit.
The Kings, however, could have more pressing needs to address this summer.
With pending UFAs Alexander Edler and Olli Maatta unlikely to return, the Kings must add at least one top-four defenseman capable of taking some of the burden from blueline stalwart Drew Doughty. They were linked to the Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg and the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun prior to last month’s trade deadline.