The Ottawa Senators announced Monday morning that they have signed forward Michael Carcone to a two-year, two-way contract. Both years carry the new league-minimum salary of $700,000 at the NHL level, but there’s a $30,000 difference between the first ($85K) and second ($115K) at the AHL level.
With both Nikita Zaitsev and Connor Brown having years of NHL experience to demonstrate their value, Carcone is the biggest question mark in the deal. A late-bloomer, Carcone was not drafted, but caught the eye of Vancouver’s QMJHL scouts after a 47 goal, 89 point season (66GP) in 2015-16, and he was signed to his entry-level contract on this day in 2016. His first two seasons in the AHL saw him put up middling numbers, but seemed to really turn it on in the 2017-18 AHL playoffs, using 4 points in 5 games to step into a bigger role last season. From October to December 2018, Carcone put up 17 points in his first 20 games and caught the eye of the Senators, with Dorion noting that the Sens tried to acquire him during the Mike McKenna/Tom Pyatt for Anders Nilsson swap. The creative forward was traded to Toronto for Josh Leivo in December, where he finished tied for second on the team in playoff scoring with 10 points in 13 games.
Interesting note? His 44 points in 62 regular season games in 2018-19 (0.71 PPG) is similar Rudolfs Balcers’ production in Belleville. Carcone gives the BSens a smart forward at an advanced point in his development to help lead the team this season, and I expect him to push for a depth role in Ottawa in the case of trades or injuries.
This signing leaves the Sens with just one unsigned player: Colin White.