One of this summer's big trade deals now appears to be a major source of concern for the team that many at the time believed had won the trade.
Earlier this summer the Arizona Coyotes and the Montreal Canadiens hooked up for a surprising player for player trade deal. The trade sent former Arizona Coyotes first round pick Max Domi to the Canadiens for Montreal's own former first round pick in Alex Galchenyuk. At the time the reaction to the trade , or perhaps I should say the backlash, was largely negative as far as the Canadiens and their fan base was concerned with most believing that the Coyotes had gotten a significantly better player in a straight up 1 for one 1 deal.
Clearly though the Montreal Canadiens, and more specifically Habs general manager Marc Bergevin, felt that they had something special in Max Domi and perhaps more importantly they believed that he could develop into the legitimate top 2 type of center that they have been so desperate for over the past several years. That feeling seemed to be reinforced after an incredibly reckless play from Domi in the preseason saw him sucker punching Florida Panthers star forward Aaron Ekblad.
Fortunately for both the Canadiens and Domi however the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety gave him a relatively light sentence given the rather severe looking nature of his sucker punch. Domi was suspended for 5 games, which is indeed a lot, but all 5 of those games will come during the NHL's preseason and he will miss no games during the 2018 - 2019 NHL regular season for his actions. On top of that it now seems like the Coyotes are dealing with a much more serious problem off the heels of the trade.
The other piece in that deal, forward Alex Galchenyuk, appeared to shine bright at the center position for the Coyotes as soon as he was given an opportunity, something the Canadiens largely neglected to do. In his first preseason game as a Coyote Galchenyuk found the back of the net on two separate occasions, tying the opposing team's offensive output all by himself, and it looked like this could quickly turn into yet another catastrophic trade from Bergevin. Unfortunately for the Coyotes though the honeymoon has been rather short lived and there are now major concerns regarding the health of Galchenyuk.
According to multiple reports Galchenyuk has suffered an undisclosed injury and, although the Coyotes have not provided any updates other than to say that he will be evaluated next week by teams doctors, it sounds like this is going to be a serious injury. A report from Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic appeared to confirm as much on Saturday when Morin, who is intimately familiar with the Coyotes, read between the lines of head coach Rick Tocchet's comments regarding Galchenyuk's injury and came away believing that the team is very worried.
If a player is nursing a minor injury or just banged up, Tocchet will generally tab him as “day-to-day.” That Tocchet was so abstract in discussing Galchenyuk’s status suggests the team could have significant concerns.
Now this trade could still come back to bite Bergevin in the long term, but if Galchenyuk is indeed seriously injured it could help alleviate some of the scrutiny he has been under specifically as it pertains to the deal he made earlier this summer.