The Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher was in Toronto on Tuesday to take part in the NHLPA’s rookie showcase, even though he isn’t a rookie anymore.
Gallagher was a finalist for the Calder Trophy last season as the NHL’s top rookie, losing out to Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers. Gallagher finished the season with 15-13-28 totals in 44 games. The only rookies to post more points were Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov (17-14-31), Huberdeau (14-17-31) and Ottawa’s Cory Conacher (11-18-29).
“This summer I prepared the same way, did the exact same things,” Gallagher told The Canadian Press about his offseason training. “I’m taking nothing for granted.”
He added: “I don’t want to be complacent about a first year. I know a lot of guys have had good first years and struggle in their second so I’m aware of that. The most important thing is winning. I just want to be part of a winning hockey team and for me to contribute in that I need to continue to build on my season last year.”
Gallagher also commented on the Canadiens’ offseason signings:
“Daniel Briere (is) a very skilled, a smaller guy I can learn from and who I’m excited to be around. Douglas Murray is a presence to play against to say the least, a big body who is going to be effective on the penalty kill and will fit nicely into our core of six defencemen.
“Having (George Parros) around, I think, just makes everyone feel more comfortable. We had guys (last year) who were willing to stand up . . . you look at a guy like Brandon Prust who would go fight (Toronto forward) Frazier McLaren, who is a much bigger guy, and he did very well. But for us to have Prust on the ice is big as well.”