TAMPA BAY BOUND

Sum­mer­side’s Alex Gal­lant will have a new ad­dress for the 2017-18 sea­son.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND -

Alex Gal­lant will have a new ad­dress for the 2017-18 sea­son.

The 24-year-old old son of Mike (Pinky) and Patricia Gal­lant of Sum­mer­side signed a one-year, two-way con­tract with the Tampa Bay Light­ning of the Na­tional Hockey League on Satur­day. Light­ning vi­cepres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager Steve Yz­er­man made the an­nounce­ment in a me­dia re­lease.

The two-way deal means Gal­lant gets an NHL salary if he’s with the Light­ning, and an Amer­i­can Hockey League (AHL) salary if he plays with the Syra­cuse Crunch.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited and ap­pre­cia­tive of Tampa Bay giv­ing me the op­por­tu­nity,” said Gal­lant in a phone in­ter­view with the Journal Pi­o­neer.

Gal­lant, listed as six feet and 177 pounds, pre­vi­ously played in the San Jose Sharks’ sys­tem. He had two as­sists in 29 AHL games with the San Jose Bar­racuda dur­ing the 2016-17 cam­paign.

“I’m obviously go­ing to miss San Jose,” said Gal­lant. “They were be­yond good to me and it was a great spot, but I have a good op­por­tu­nity here and I’m hop­ing to make the most of it.”

Gal­lant ad­mit­ted he was talk­ing to the Sharks along with a “cou­ple of other teams” be­fore agree­ing to terms with the Light­ning.

“Tampa Bay is my best op­por­tu­nity,” said Gal­lant. “They were giv­ing me the best deal, and it

was tough to pass up.”

There is an­other fac­tor Gal­lant hopes plays into his favour.

“I was told there are not many other guys in the or­ga­ni­za­tion who play the en­forcer’s role or any­thing like that, so there is an op­por­tu­nity there,” said Gal­lant. “The rest will be on me.”

AHL num­bers

In 56 ca­reer AHL games – all with the Bar­racuda – the for­mer Sum­mer­side D. Alex MacDon­ald Ford Western Cap­i­tal has reg­is­tered three points, in­clud­ing

one goal.

Be­fore mak­ing the jump to the AHL, Gal­lant reg­is­tered one goal and two as­sists in 34 East Coast Hockey League games with the Utah Griz­zlies and Or­lando So­lar Bears.

Gal­lant re­cently re­turned home for the sum­mer, and plans to train hard in an ef­fort to make an early favourable im­pres­sion with his new or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“I want to put on a lit­tle more weight and get ready to go,” em­pha­sized Gal­lant. “I want to have a re­ally good camp in Tampa.”

Gal­lant, who recorded 129 penalty min­utes with the Bar­racuda last sea­son, un­der­stands play­ers who now pro­vide a phys­i­cal pres­ence also have to be able to con­trib­ute on the ice.

“There’s no more tap­ping on the shoul­der, one shift a night,” said Gal­lant. “Ev­ery­body has to chip in, and the main thing is you have to be able to play now.

“My main fo­cus is to work on my game and be able to play that fourth-line role and bring en­ergy to the team.”

“I was told there are not many other guys in the or­ga­ni­za­tion who play the en­forcer’s role or any­thing like that, so there is an op­por­tu­nity there. The rest will be on me.”

Alex Gal­lant

SAN JOSE SHARKS PHOTO

Alex Gal­lant played with the San Jose Bar­racuda of the Amer­i­can Hockey League the past two years.

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