Late on June 16th, the Montreal Canadiens announced that they had completed a trade with the Arizona Coyotes, shipping out Alex Galchenyuk in exchange for Max Domi. That's all; no picks, no prospects, a clean one-for-one player trade that sure got the Montreal fan base talking.
It all took place after yet another Galchenyuk at centre experiment failed this past season. Either Galchenyuk wasn’t willing to learn what the Canadiens coaches were expecting him to do in his new position or the coaches weren’t able to get their message across.
However, on Thursday, the Habs sure got a brutal message across during the opening of the rookie training camp in Brossard. The Canadiens not only went all-in at centre at the 2018 NHL entry draft this past weekend, they also had a special gift to all the young prospects on the first day of camp.
The rookies showed up with a special t-shirt offered by the team that reads Attitude is Everything on the back of it. It did not take long for pundits out there to claim that the Canadiens were taking a dirty cheap shot at Galchenyuk.
It was vastly reported that the main reason why Galchenyuk failed at centre and was consequently traded was because of an attitude problem. We couldn't really say if Galchenyuk was more fed up with the Canadiens or they were more fed up with him... According to Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette, general manager Marc "Bergevin blamed a lot of the Canadiens’ problems last season on a bad attitude and you have to think the GM didn’t like Galchenyuk’s."
“I think life in general … you have a bad day there’s always the next day to make a difference and that’s how I see it,” Galchenyuk said when he met with reporters in Brossard after the Canadiens’ season finished. “I had a bad year. There’s next season to improve. Start fresh and start from scratch. I already can’t wait to stand here and talk about next year.”
Galchenyuk's attitude might have also been affected by the way he was treated by some of Montreal media at the start of the season, following a summer filled with trade chatter. During an on-air segment, former Habs head coach Mario Tremblay alleged Galchenyuk had twice been to detox for addiction issues. At the time, Bergevin did not confirm nor deny the allegations, which, have remained only allegations.
You can certainly acknowledge that it would affect a player's attitude.
For now though, the Canadiens have decided to put it on the back of every new player to make sure they know what is to come...