Maple Leafs Morgan Reilly Nearly Became a Montreal Canadien

Published September 4, 2023 at 3:27 PM
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Morgan Rielly nearly became a Montreal Canadien and their former GM revealed how he almost pulled it off.

Morgan Rielly Nearly Became A Hab

Back in 2012, the Montreal Canadiens held the 3rd overall pick while the Toronto Maple Leafs had the 5th pick. We know that the Canadiens took Alex Galchenyuk and the Leafs made out like bandits with Rielly at five.

Recently, former Canadiens GM, Marc Bergevin, revealed that he wanted to select Rielly over Galchenyuk in 2012.

"Yes, I liked Rielly a lot. But I had just been hired on May 2, and my new staff liked Alex Galchenyuk a lot. I was with Chicago that season, and we had a later pick. We didn't waste time with Galchenyuk, who was probably going to be chosen among the first; besides, he had hardly played that winter. I looked at our center situation, we had David Desharnais, Tomas Plekanec, and Chucky was considered a center. You step into the job, you haven't seen Galchenyuk play, and you're going to force them to take another player? That's not a good way to start a relationship. I let them choose. Plus, I agreed, I knew we needed centers. But I really liked Morgan Rielly." - Marc Bergevin

Galchenyuk VS Rielly


Galchenyuk and Rielly are on the opposite ends of the top pick spectrum. Rielly has played 719 games and has scored 414 points, all with the Maple Leafs. Rielly is undoubtedly a top defenseman in the NHL and the perfect piece to complement the Maple Leafs' core four.

Galchenyuk on the other hand only played for six years with the Canadiens. He played 418 total games with the Habs and scored 255 points before being moved on from. Since then Galchenyuk played for 6 other NHL teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs. He never impressed with his new teams and signed with Arizona earlier this offseason.

However, after getting arrested, Galchenyuk had his contract terminated and signed in Russia where he will play for the next few years. It seems evident that his NHL career is all but over and will likely end unceremoniously as well.

If Reilly had gone off the board at 3, then the Islanders likely select Galchenyuk at four and now the Leafs are left with the decision on which defenseman to select: Griffin Reinhart, Hampus Lindholm, Matt Dumba, Derrick Pouliot, or Jacob Trouba.

As seen on Habs Fanatics - We have just learned that Alex Galchenyuk is not the player Marc Bergevin was going to draft in 2012
September 4   |   903 answers
Maple Leafs Morgan Reilly Nearly Became a Montreal Canadien

Would the Montreal Canadiens have won the 2020 Stanley Cup with Morgan Rielly?

Yes24427 %
No65872.9 %