At the Montreal Canadiens' annual charity golf tournament prior to training camp last season, a member of the management team was asked to assess their offseason.
The Canadiens had acquired forward PA Parenteau and a draft pick from the Colorado Avalanche for little-used veteran Daniel Briere, a trade that was widely acclaimed as a win for Montreal. On the free agent market, the Canadiens signed veteran center Manny Malhotra to pivot the fourth line and defenseman Tom Gilbert to fill out their top four on the blue line, and they won what was a bit of a derby to sign young forward Jiri Sekac out of the Kontinental Hockey League.
But none of those names topped the list for this member of the Canadiens front office. Instead, it was a widely ignored college free agent signing.
"The guy we're really excited about," the executive said that day, "is Daniel Carr."