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Habs remove coveted trade bait from the market!?

A last-minute change of plan or a deal already in place?

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Since the start of the 2017-18 season, and even in the summer, Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk has heard his name mentioned in trade chatter. But now, just over a week away from the trade deadline, it has finally quieted down. 

NHL insider Pierre LeBrun has revealed that some rival teams believe the Habs have removed the forward from the trade block. Here are the interesting parts of his analysis as reported by FanRag Sports.

“I haven’t heard his name out there that much, to be quite honest,” said LeBrun during a Tuesday evening appearance on Montreal’s TSN 690. “But I also haven’t been told by a team that they called and that Montreal has said, ‘Don’t call.’ So where does that leave things. I think that probably leaves things where it should be left on a lot of players for that team – you can’t afford to say, ‘Don’t phone,’ when you’re needing to listen and be open-minded about ways to retool your team headed into September. 

But compared to the names that we’re hearing routinely – from Mike Hoffman to Patrick Maroon, etc. – we’re just not hearing Galchenyuk as much. And I don’t want to come here and say he won’t get dealt, I’m just telling you that I’m not hearing his name as much as I did in the off-season last summer.”  

Galchenyuk's teammates, captain Max Pacioretty and veteran Tomas Plekanec, have also been placed on the block ahead of the deadline. And LeBrun had fun taking GM Marc Bergevin's responsibilities for the time of the interview, and revealed what he would do if he were in the Habs front office. 

For me, again, I guess it’s easy to say from my vantage point because I’m not on the hot seat. But I wouldn’t move him. I just think that at the end of the day, I really feel in his case eventually he’s going to be a more consistent player and the good games are going to vastly outweigh the invisible ones, and you’re going to be happy that he’s there creating on your team. And I think we’re seeing more and more of that; but again, there are nights where it’s not there.” 

In 55 games with Montreal this season, Galchenyuk, who is in the first season of his three-year, $14.7 million deal, has recorded 12 goals and 32 points.