Late Friday night the first big trade of the 2018 NHL offseason was completed with the Coyotes sending Max Domi to the Canadiens in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk. The trade was one for one and the hockey world definitely had not so mixed reactions as once again it seemed as if Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin had just pulled the trigger on another losing trade for the Habs.
Although at first glance it does seem like Coyotes general manager John Chayka won this trade, this could be a win-win for both teams if Domi can show that this new city is just what he needs to produce the way many think he should be.
Domi seemed to be falling behind in Arizona. Drafted 12th overall in 2013, he came into the league looking like one of the future superstars of the NHL. Many thought alongside other young talents in Arizona, he would lead the Coyotes to success in the future. In his first season, he tallied 18 goals and 52 points and in his most recent season, only scored 9 goals and 36 assists for a total of 45 points in 82 games.
Galchenyuk was the third overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and he was just one more piece to the puzzle in Montreal’s quest to be the first Canadian team since 1993 (when the Canadiens themselves won it) to lift the Stanley Cup. Scoring a career high 30 goals and 56 points in the 2015-16 season, his production in terms of goal scoring has fallen significantly for a third overall pick. Since the 2016 season, Galchenyuk has failed to get back to even the 20-goal plateau.
In this trade, perhaps a change of scenery is just what these two players need to get back on the right track. We have seen before in the NHL how a trade can completely change the player himself causing his play and value to skyrocket. It is possible that Galchenyuk needs to get out of the stern and unforgiving atmosphere of Montreal to the laid-back market of Arizona.
For Domi, perhaps he is a big-time player that likes the bigger stages of the hockey world to play on and the bright lights of Montreal are just what he needs to become the player everyone expected him to be. The Arizona hockey market isn’t necessarily the most intense and therefore it is a possibility that Domi hasn’t been playing up to standards simply because there is no one outside of the rink to hold him to those standards.
Both of these players are terrific assets to their respective teams and it was probably difficult for either GM to trade them away but a change of scenery could be just what these two players need to produce at their level.
At first glance, it appears that the Coyotes have won this trade but I think in order to really know who has won the trade, we’re going to have to see how Max Domi and Alex Galchenyuk perform on the ice on their new teams from cities that are quite polar opposites when it comes to their hockey standards.
Different players perform differently under certain circumstances and if Domi and Galchenyuk haven’t been scoring the way they should on their respective teams, a 180 shift to a brand-new team with new teammates, front office and general hockey market could be just what the doctor ordered to get these players going.