Montreal Canadiens Send Down Michael McCarron

Oct 1, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Brian Flynn #32 celebrates with right wing Michael McCarron his goal scored against the Ottawa Senators with 36 seconds left in the third period of a preseason hockey game at Canadian Tire Centre. The Canadiens defeated the Senators 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens announced that Michael McCarron has been sent back to the St. John’s Ice Caps of the AHL.

The Montreal Canadiens have sent Michael McCarron to the minor leagues. The hulking center will return to the St. John’s Ice Caps. He has split this season as well as last with the Habs and Ice Caps and the trend continues today.

McCarron was the Canadiens first round pick when he was taken 25th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. There were questions about his skating at the time, but certainly none about his size. The 6’6″ and 231 pound forward showed his speed has come a long way and he didn’t look out of place in his NHL audition.

In 15 games with the Habs this season, he scored just one goal and four points. His game is less about flash, dazzle and skill than it is about winning battles, creating space and making like difficult for defenders and goaltenders.

McCarron played well enough to show he could be back with the Habs at any time. His defensive game was great for a 21 year old. His hockey sense and ability to play to his strengths will serve him well in his career.

McCarron showing promise to be exceptional two-way player in future

The Grosse Point, Michigan native will head back to St. John’s where he has 12 points in 21 games.  His offensive numbers aren’t jumping off the page, even in the minors. However, McCarron unselfishly took on a more defensive role early this season with the Ice Caps, helping him become a better 200-foot player.

Though he played well in his latest stint with the Canadiens, there is still plenty for him to learn. McCarron has just recently made the full-time switch to center. He can continue to polish the defensive side of his game with the Ice Caps and try to establish himself as more of an offensive threat.

The Canadiens also have plenty of depth down the middle. With players returning from injury, Alex Galchenyuk, Phillip Danault, Tomas Plekanec and Torrey Mitchell have all earned a spot at center. Only the first two will be around long term.

When it’s time to move on from Plekanec or Mitchell, the Canadiens know exactly who is ready to step in and play a fourth on third line center role. McCarron will be back with the Habs, and he will have a long NHL career.

The only question is, when does he become a full-time NHL player? Based on his play with the Canadiens, it will be in the very near future.

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