With Maple Leafs, Galchenyuk has final chance to carve out his place in NHL

TORONTO — Alex Galchenyuk may be down to his final chance.

It’s no secret that the doubters significantly outnumber the believers when you’re joining your seventh organization after recently going unclaimed on the NHL’s waiver wire while owning a contract that can be buried entirely in the minors.

Where exactly the Toronto Maple Leafs fall on that scale isn’t clear.

Galchenyuk was a risk-free acquisition for them and helped free up a valuable contract slot since the Leafs traded two low-depth players to the Carolina Hurricanes last Monday to take him. But they are an intriguing landing spot for the 27-year-old forward due to their heavy resources and a nine-member player development staff that should be able to help salvage anything still salvageable in the former third-overall draft pick.

At this stage, he’s a reclamation project for a first-place team that is under no pressure to play him. The Leafs are making a modest bet with the possibility of some upside and the onus is entirely on Galchenyuk to prove there’s a future brighter than his recent past.

“We can sit here and talk all day about my career … but that’s not where my head is,” he said Sunday. “My head is here and I’m really excited to be here.”

His head was spinning a week ago when he celebrated a birthday by getting traded to the Hurricanes from the Ottawa Senators. He was instructed to remain in Canada…

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