TAMPA BAY BOUND
Summerside’s Alex Gallant will have a new address for the 2017-18 season.
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.”
In 56 career AHL games – all with the Barracuda – the former Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capital has registered three points, including
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 played with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League the past two years.