Carrick, 30, finally established himself as an NHL regular this season after a long career in the minor leagues, playing 64 games for the Ducks. The bang-and-crash forward racked up 122 hits and 85 penalty minutes, but also added 11 goals, a strong performance for a bottom-six option that was averaging just over 11 minutes a night. That performance has been rewarded, as the Ducks obviously see him as a useful depth piece to keep around for the next two seasons.
It’s not like Carrick is completely unfamiliar with scoring, despite having just four NHL goals before this season. He has routinely been a strong contributor at the minor league level, racking up 138 goals and 309 points in 467 career AHL games. For the last three seasons, he has been the captain of the San Diego Gulls, though it doesn’t really seem like he’ll be reprising that role next season with this new deal and his breakthrough campaign.
One has to wonder whether a signing like this is in response to some of the things that have happened to the Ducks over the last month, namely the incident between Jay Beagle and Troy Terry. When the team traded Nicolas Deslauriers and Josh Manson at the deadline, they got rid of a lot of the tough, physical players that could help “protect” their young stars. Carrick, who has 11 fighting majors this season, tied for third in the league behind only Deslauriers and Tanner Jeannot of the Minnesota Wild, can fill that type of physical role in the bottom six while also adding a bit of offense.
For the player, this is obviously a huge win. Carrick hasn’t had a multi-year contract since a two-year deal he signed with the Ducks in 2017, and that contract was a two-way deal that saw him earn only a handful of days of NHL pay. This new two-year, one-way contract represents the biggest payday of his career, and a nice reward for one of the organization’s heart-and-soul players.