Daniel Carr has been one of the few bright spots during this difficult stretch for the Montreal Canadiens. When Brendan Gallagher went down with a hand injury, Carr was called up and made the most of his opportunity. He scored his first NHL goal on his first shot during his first shift against the Carolina Hurricanes. Carr is one of few players on Montreal willing to go to the front of the net and plays with a consistent effort.
Who is Daniel Carr?
When Carr was sent down recently, the move was met with confusion. During the slump, Carr was one of only a few players who was putting the puck in the net and putting in a good effort every game. It was more mind boggling when Jacob de la Rose was called up instead, considering he has struggled offensively in the AHL. De la Rose would play two unimpressive games before being relegated to the press box and Carr was recalled.
Repeating myself: Nothing flashy about Daniel Carr; he just does everything you need to do to score. That's why he's done it at every level.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) January 24, 2016
Gallagher has carved out a niche for himself as a ball of energy who can score and is more than happy to go to the net. Carr shares a few similarities with Gallagher in the sense they can score goals and are willing to camp out in the crease. Carr was never drafted despite four good seasons with Union College. Montreal swooped in and signed Carr to a two-year entry level contract and he has been one of Montreal’s biggest risers among prospects. It also turns out that Carr and Gallagher train together during the summer with Gallagher’s father Ian, who is a strength and conditioning coach for the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.
Carr’s rise could make this summer a little more interesting for general manager Marc Bergevin. Carr is a restricted free agent this summer but it won’t cost much to re-sign him. However, with Carr’s improved play, he could push a veteran out of a job for next year. Montreal has three forwards who are unrestricted free agents this summer in Dale Weise, Paul Byron and Tomas Fleischmann.
Big things ahead
Weise is a favourite of Therrien but after a hot start, he has cooled off considerably. He could easily ask for $2-4 million dollars but with the salary cap, paying that kind of money for a role player isn’t worth it, especially when you have younger players with more potential ready for a chance in the lineup. Byron has been a surprise since being claimed on waivers. He has been a nice addition to the fourth line with his speed and work on the penalty kill. Fleischmann started the year hot like Weise but has seen his production drop off.
Carr’s value is on the rise and if the Habs are smart, they will keep Carr in the lineup. His Gallagher-esque skillset is valuable as you are hard pressed to find players who play that high intensity style on a consistent basis. With Montreal struggling to find any sort of scoring, Carr has been a breath of fresh air and if he keeps progressing, he deserves to have a bigger role.