Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher tries to squeeze past Minnesota Wild's Mitchell Chaffee, left, and Brandon Duhaime during the second period at the Bell Centre in Montreal on April 19, 2022.

“Winning has always been the most important thing and you can’t turn that off,” Gallagher said in January after Kent Hughes was hired as the new GM. “That said, being a Montreal Canadien is pretty important to me as well.”

There will be a lot of changes during the offseason as Hughes tries to turn the Canadiens around after a disastrous season in which they have the second-worst record in the NHL (20-46-11).

Hughes would probably like to unload the final five seasons of Gallagher’s six-year, US$39-million contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $6.5 million. The 29-year-old right-winger probably wouldn’t mind going to a team that has a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup in the near future.

This has been a difficult season for Gallagher, who has battled injuries and has only six goals in 51 games. His contract might scare away other teams but, if the Canadiens were willing to eat some of it, maybe a deal can be made.

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