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Gallagher pleased with Canadiens' additions

by Sean McCullen / NHL.com

Brendan Gallagher has high hopes for new Montreal Canadiens forwards Alexander Semin and Zack Kassian.

The Canadiens signed Semin to a one-year contract reportedly worth $1.1 million July 24, a little more than three weeks after the Carolina Hurricanes bought out the final three years of the 31-year-old's five-year, $35 million contract.

"Semin is a guy that other teams have to be aware of," Gallagher said Wednesday at his charity softball game at Vancouver's Nat Bailey Stadium. "He's dangerous every time he's on the ice. He doesn't need much time and space to put the puck in the back of the net."

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Semin had six goals and 13 assists in 57 games for Carolina last season. He had 44 points (31 assists) in 44 games in 2012-13, his first season with the Hurricanes, and was rewarded with the $35 million contract.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Tuesday at his charity golf tournament in Quebec that coaching Semin will be "a nice challenge."

The Canadiens acquired Kassian, 24, and a fifth-round draft pick in 2016 in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for forward Brandon Prust on July 1.

"He's a skilled guy for his size; he can play with anyone up and down the lineup," Gallagher said of Kassian, who is 6-foot-3, 214 pounds. "We're looking forward to coming in and hopefully he can bring us a lot of energy and play the type of hockey he's capable of playing. I'm looking forward to playing with him."

Kassian had 10 goals and six assists in 42 games with the Canucks last season after he established career highs with 14 goals and 15 assists in 73 games in 2013-14.

Gallagher, 23, signed a six-year, $22.5 million extension Nov. 29, 2014, that would keep him with the Canadiens through the 2020-21 season. He had career highs in goals (24), assists (23) and points (47) in 2014-15, when he was plus-18, the best rating of his three NHL seasons.

In May, Hockey Hall of Fame member Guy Lafleur said Gallagher should be Canadiens captain. Montreal has not had a captain since the 2013-14 season (Brian Gionta).

Gallagher, an Edmonton native, grew up near Vancouver and played junior hockey with Vancouver of the Western Hockey League. His charity softball game raised money for Shriners Hospital for Children-Canada.

Also participating in the game were Alex Galchenyuk and Nathan Beaulieu of the Canadiens; Lance Bouma of the Calgary Flames; Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oilers; Landon Ferraro of the Detroit Red Wings; Max Reinhart of the Nashville Predators; Sam Reinhart of the Buffalo Sabres; former Canucks Cliff Ronning and Kyle Wellwood; and singer Michael Buble.

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