Losing in the first round of the playoffs made for one long summer for right winger Brendan Gallagher.
After putting together a 41-goal season with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, Gallagher found himself on the sidelines as a result of an early playoff exit. The only good thing to come out of that early exit is the fact that he had more time to work on his off-season preparation and get ready for year one as a member of the Hamilton Bulldogs.
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“I feel like I’ve given my body a good chance that it’s going to hold out throughtout the season,” said Gallagher after a day of practice and intra-squad action at the Complexe Sportif Thibault in Sherbrooke, where the ‘Dogs have opened training camp.
His summer included adding ten pounds to his lean 5-9 frame.
“Now it’s up to me to go out on the ice and perform every game.”
Gallagher looks ahead to the AHL season after being among the final cuts at Canadiens’ training camp last season.
“I didn’t really have any expectations last season when I came into camp. I’m going to take the same mentality into this camp. It’s up to me to play my game every time I’m on the ice.”
Gallagher’s season in Vancouver last year was a learning experience. He was relied on to play special teams and was called upon heavilly to fill various roles. His development also included a trip to the World Juniors as a member of Team Canada.
“It sucks that we came up with the bronze medal, but, at the same time, we’re proud of that medal.”
Gallagher and the rest of the Bulldogs will remain in Sherbrooke through Wednesday before they head to Ontario and their ultimate desination: Hamilton’s Copps Colliseum, for the start of the AHL season.