Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk will hit restricted free agency for the second time in his career this summer and will do so with an open mind.
Coming off an up and down season, which saw him fall to the fourth line in the playoffs, Galchenyuk's agent said Wednesday the 23-year-old is willing open to taking length when it comes to his next contract.
Pat Brisson told La Presse that the Canadiens have yet to open negotiations with Galchenyuk, who scored 17 goals and posted 27 points last season, but expect talks to start soon.
“We still haven’t had any discussions, but I have a feeling we’ll begin talking in the next week or so,” Brisson said, as translated by NBC Sports.
“We won’t say no to a one-year contract either. We’ll continue studying Galchenyuk’s case and we’ll look at what he can get in arbitration.”
Galchenyuk signed a two-year, $5.6 million contract as a restricted free agent with the Canadiens in 2015. He scored a career-high 30 goals and 56 points the following season, but saw his output and playing time dip this year.
After the season, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin said 2012 third overall pick was not ready to play centre in the NHL.
"He's aware of the improvements he needs to make to be the centreman he hopes to be," Bergevin said. "But for now the best place for him is on the wing. This season really opened his eyes."
Along with Galchenyuk, defencemen Nathan Beaulieu and Nikita Nesterov are also arbitration-eligible free agents for the Canadiens.