Attitude is a big part of what makes a player successful in the National Hockey League. The Montreal Canadiens used that same word at the start of the rookie training camp this summer to motivate young players to stay motivated and reminded that a good attitude can make you better. One of the Habs' former first round picks had forgotten that over the course of the past few years...
Michael McCarron was selected in the first round, 25th overall, by the Canadiens during the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He sure looked promising at 6’6”, however in the past years, he has spent more time in the American Hockey League, where his speed is still lacking. On Tuesday, the Canadiens placed the large forward on waivers, and assigned him back to the Laval Rocket.
The difference this time around? McCarron admitted he acted like a baby in the previous seasons, and is now ready to work with Rocket head coach Joel Bouchard to prove that he can be of caliber to make a difference with the Habs at an NHL level.
"A player finds himself in the minors for a reason, and that's if you're not good enough," said McCarron. "I had a bad attitude last season because I thought I could carve out a job with the Canadiens and I reacted like a baby. But I see this season with the Rocket as a learning lesson."
The forward also spent the summer training with Kathy McLlwain, a power skating coach, and is hoping to see a difference in his game early on this season. McCarron knows things will be different this time around, especially after he got a taste of Bouchard's training, and yes, his attitude at well.
"It's completely different from last year. Joel really wants us to behave like professionals. We do not feel like in a summer camp."
The 23-year-old is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2018-19 season. Earlier in September, the Canadiens announced they had signed one-year, two-way contract. The agreement is worth $874,125 at the NHL level and $70,000 in AHL salary.
McCarron featured 18 times for the Canadiens in 2017-18, managing an assist and 32 penalty minutes. He spent the majority of his time with the farm team, scoring seven goals and tallying 24 points along with 121 penalty minutes over 54 games.