The past few weeks have been quite the rollercoaster for Alex Galchenyuk, but things are finally starting to return to normalcy. On February 13th, Galchenyuk was traded from Ottawa to the Carolina Hurricanes and was subsequently placed on waivers. Not 48 hours later and Galchenyuk found himself on the move to yet another Canadian market. After acquiring the veteran forward, the Toronto Maple Leafs sent Galchenyuk down to their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.
For a player who’s been constantly on the move for majority of the past three years, it hasn’t taken Galchenyuk long to find his groove and get comfortable with his new surroundings. Following his first game with the Marlies, Galchenyuk said he felt good on the ice. “It’s great to be out there and playing minutes,” the centreman stated. “To be back in the game and feel better and better, I felt good. Good to get the first one out of the way, especially glad we won. There’s a great staff here in development and it’s one of the most important things.”
His impact stretches far beyond his contributions on the ice. His new teammates, as well as his new head coach, all have nothing but praise for the native of Wisconsin. “He’s a highly skilled player. When he gets the puck on the flank coming downhill, the way in which he preps the puck he has his eyes up, he sees the ice,” said Marlies head coach Greg Moore. “He always keeps the puck in a threatening position, close location to his body so he can move it, whether it’s a shot or it’s a pass. He’s very dynamic, very smart. He’s definitely added a lot to our power play,” the bench boss added.
Prior to joining the Marlies, Galchenyuk had not seen much ice time, however, has shown no signs of rust and has fit in seamlessly. He’s taken on a large role within the Marlies organization. “For him (Galchenyuk), just getting back to pace, just getting game timing, game feel and getting settled with our organization, the systems and details and getting comfortable defensively as well, which he’s done a really good job at. He’s a great teammate, he’s done everything we’ve asked. He’s been a pleasure to have on the team,” Greg Moore elaborated.
Early on, Galchenyuk has been seeing a lot of ice time, both at five-v-five and on special teams. “It’s very easy to put him in spots like that during the game, whether it’s five-on-five, special teams, six-on-five. He’s been well coached over the years, smart player and I trust him to be out there,” Moore assured.
Through his first four games, Galchenyuk has kept up a point-per-game pace with his one goal joined by three assists. His goal and assist in the third period of Saturday’s match against Stockton helped give Toronto a fighting chance until the end.
While we’re not sure how long Galchenyuk will remain with the Marlies for, one thing is for certain. He seems to have found his game and has had a major impact, both on and off the ice.