GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Max Domi had been a cornerstone of the Arizona Coyotes‘ rebuilding project in the desert. He was young, feisty, skilled and had a great hockey pedigree.
Now the Coyotes have a new, young cornerstone who also happens to fill a need at center after trading Domi to the Montreal Canadiens for Alex Galchenyuk on Friday night.
”Sometimes in this league you have to give to get,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said on a conference call. ”Max is a very talented young player in his own right, but hopefully this works out where it will be a fit for both sides.”
The 23-year-old Domi was targeted to be part of a youthful new foundation for the struggling Coyotes when they selected him with the 12th overall pick in 2013. The son of former NHL tough guy Tie Domi, Max scored 18 goals and had 34 assists as a rookie in 2015-16, but his goal production has dipped the past two seasons. He had nine goals and 29 assists in an injury-plagued 2016-17 season, and nine goals with 36 assists last season.
The 24-year-old Galchenyuk has been a steady scorer since Montreal selected him third overall in 2012. He has eclipsed 20 goals twice, including a career-high 30 in 2015-16. Galchenyuk had 19 goals and 32 assists last season.
”It gives us optionality, gives us some depth there, versatility,” Chayka said. ”You get a guy who has been very productive and has played in those premium positions, so that was an added bonus with this deal.”
Galchenyuk signed a three-year $14.7-million contract in July 2017 that carries a salary cap hit of $4.9 million per season. Domi is coming off his entry-level contract and will need to sign a new deal.
Galchenyuk was born in Milwaukee when his father, Alexander Galchenyuk, was playing for the Wisconsin city’s minor league team. The family returned to Europe when Alex was 4 years old.