Domi, Galchenyuk eager for fresh starts with new teams

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Max Domi heard the rumors that the Arizona Coyotes might trade him this offseason. Even so, when learning he was being sent to Montreal for Alex Galchenyuk, the news came as a bit of a shock.

”I’m really excited to start the new chapter,” Domi said during a conference call Saturday. ”Of course I was a little bit shocked, but it’s a lot of emotion, some sadness, and mostly excitement and goodness. So I can’t wait to get started. I’m absolutely pumped.”

Domi at least heard the news firsthand. Galchenyuk found out on flight to Italy for vacation when he used the plane’s Wi-Fi to check Twitter.

”It was a lot of emotions. It’s something I’ve never experienced in my life before,” he said on a conference call. ”I never really asked for a trade. I loved being in Montreal. I loved playing there, but obviously when you’re hearing your name in rumors for the last couple of years, you kind of knew that something might happen.”

The Canadiens didn’t waste any time locking up Domi, whose entry-level contract is up. Montreal signed the skilled forward to a two-year deal that averages $3.15 million.

Domi had been seen as a cornerstone as the Coyotes try to turn the corner back into a playoff team. The 23-year-old forward was one of the NHL’s best rookies after Arizona selected him with the 12th overall pick in in 2013, scoring 18 goals with 34 assists in 2015-16.

Domi struggled with injuries his sophomore season and got off to a slow start this past season before finishing with nine goals and 36 assists.

The Habs, like the Coyotes with Galchenyuk, are hoping that a change of scenery will provide a spark.

”I remember him at the world juniors, he was one of the best players on the ice every night, so there’s a lot there,” Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said. ”To me, it’s untapped. Sometimes a change of address brings the best in a player and especially him wanting to be in a hockey market, I think he’ll thrive here in Montreal.”

The Coyotes unloaded one of their top players to get a proven scorer and potentially fill a hole in their lineup.

Galchenyuk was a center coming up through juniors, but primarily played wing for the Canadiens. The Coyotes are looking for the 24-year-old to play in the middle and hopefully provide some scoring punch for one of the NHL’s lowest-scoring teams the past few seasons.

”We were looking for a guy that can score some goals for us,” Coyotes GM John Chayka said. ”We were looking for someone to add some versatility, has some experience playing up the middle, has potential to play up the middle and give us some depth at that position. I think Alex obviously checks all of those boxes.”

Galchenyuk signed a three-year $14.7 million contract in July 2017 that carries a salary cap hit of $4.9 million per season.

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