Alex Galchenyuk contract termination, explained: Why Coyotes placed center on waivers, prompting NHLPA review

On July 1, the first day of NHL free agency, the Coyotes announced they were bringing back forward Alex Galchenyuk for his third stint with the team, signing him to a one-year contract. 

Just 12 days later, it appears the forward’s time in the desert is coming to an end, again. 

Arizona announced on Thursday that the club was placing Galchenyuk on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. 

If the 29-year-old clears waivers, he will immediately become an unrestricted free agent. 

Galchenyuk spent the 2022-23 NHL season in the Avalanche’s organization. He played in just 11 games for Colorado, recording zero points while averaging just 7:06 minutes per game. A majority of Galchenyuk’s season took place in the AHL with the Colorado Eagles, skating in 42 games for the Avs’ minor league affiliate, putting up 42 points. 

MORE: The highest-paid NHL players in the 2023-24 season

The Sporting News has the latest updates regarding Galchenyuk’s placement on waivers and his contract termination

Why was Alex Galchenyuk placed on waivers?

According to The Athletic’s Katie Strang, the Scottsdale Police Apartment confirmed to her that Galchenyuk was arrested on July 9 on a number of charges, including private property hit and run, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. 

The jail official said that Galchenyuk was booked on Sunday evening and released the following day. He was arraigned on Monday, according to court records. 

The news out of Scottsdale coincides with ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski report from earlier on Thursday that stated a source told him that there was an “off-ice situation” involving Galchenyuk that the team was not previously aware of.

The Coyotes released the following statement on Friday:

“We are aware of the incident involving Alex Galchenyuk and strongly condemn this type of behavior. Once the Club was made aware of the allegations, we immediately began the process of terminating his Standard Player’s Contract through the proper channels in conjunction with the National Hockey League. As a result, the Arizona Coyotes today have exercised the team’s right to terminate the contract of Alex Galchenyuk due to a material breach of the terms of his Standard Player’s Contract. The Club will have no further comment at this time.”

PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan reported that the NHLPA was looking into Galchenyuk’s placement on waivers. 

Alex Galchenyuk career stats

Galchenyuk has bounced around with a number of teams since entering the league in 2012-13. Drafted No. 3 overall in 2012 by the Canadiens, the forward spent six seasons in Montreal before joining the Coyotes in 2018-19. 

Since then, Galchenyuk has played for the Penguins, Wild, Senators, Maple Leafs, Coyotes (again) and Avalanche. 

Season Team Games Goals Assists Points
2012-13 Montreal Canadiens 48 9 18 27
2013-14 Montreal Canadiens 65 13 18 31
2014-15 Montreal Canadiens 80 20 26 46
2015-16 Montreal Canadiens 82 30 26 56
2016-17 Montreal Canadiens 61 17 27 44
2017-18 Montreal Canadiens 82 19 32 51
2018-19 Arizona Coyotes 72 19 22 41
2019-20 Pittsburgh Penguins 45 5 12 17
  Minnesota Wild 14 3 4 7
2020-21 Ottawa Senators 8 1 0 1
  Toronto Maple Leafs 26 4 8 12
2021-22 Arizona Coyotes 60 6 15 21
2022-23 Colorado Avalanche 11 0 0 0

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