Just when Michael McCarron was starting to get going in the minors, he suffered an upper-body injury. It turns out that it’s a shoulder issue, one that will cost him the rest of the season after he underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old cleared waivers to start the season and had been streaky at the AHL level with Laval. He got off to a strong start with five points in the first six games of the season before following that up with a 12-game stretch with just a single assist. McCarron was quite productive in December before the injury was suffered though, collecting 13 points in 11 games, earning our first star of the month in the process. All told, he has seven goals and 14 assists in 32 games, good for fifth on the Rocket in scoring despite already missing 15 contests.
With McCarron slated to be a restricted free agent this coming summer, there are bound to be questions about his future with the team. It took him until training camp to sign last offseason when he ultimately signed for his qualifying offer amount. That qualifier boosts to $917,731 this time around while he also has arbitration eligibility. Accordingly, if GM Marc Bergevin decides to give him one more chance, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team try to get a deal done with him before the qualifying offer deadline in late June, one that would see him take a lesser NHL cap hit in exchange for more AHL money. If not, this will mark the end of a disappointing run for Montreal’s top pick in 2015.