While it appeared the writing was on the wall for Benoit Pouliot and the Bruins, one of the biggest factors in his move to the Tampa Bay Lightning was the rise of rookie winger Jordan Caron.
The 20-year-old former first round pick was one of Bostons best forwards down the home stretch of the regular season as others battled fatigue and injuries, and he has earned himself a longer look going into training camp.
Pouliot stood in the way of Carons progress given that both were earmarked for third line winger roles, and Caron is coming off career-highs in goals (seven), assists (eight) and points (15) heading into a show it to me kind of season.
So its clear the Bruins and GM Peter Chiarelli want to see Caron get a chance to develop as a potential power forward while cutting ties with a player in Pouliot they werent going to bringing back.
We want to leave some flexibility, spacenot cap space or anything. I call it development space for Jordan Caron to kind of blossom and grow a little bit more as a player, said Chiarelli. The Pouliot trade does this.
Now if we add a player down the line the rest of the summer, we still feel had we kept Ben Benoit Pouliot and added another player, it really wouldve boxed out Caron so thats reason one.
The Bruins are still searching for a Mark Recchi-type forward once the free-agency period opens on July 1, and that could mean Caron has some veteran competition for a forward spot in September. But that will be a good old-fashioned training camp battle that should bring the best out of both Caron and whatever veteran finds himself in the Bs mix.
If Caron can get what Pouliot got I would be happy. Hes a bigger body. He came on toward the end of last year. Hes put some time in the minors. He knows whats important in his game and what he has to focus on, said Chiarelli. So you know its about the latter stages of development for Jordan and he really knows what we want him to work on and he started doing that. Hes a younger guy and you have to give him a chance.
If a certain player at a certain price falls in our lap, then weve got to do it. Then once again on its face it looks were boxing out Jordan for a roster spot. But thats the way the cookie crumblesif you can improve yourself you do it.
While both Joe Corvo and Pouliot looked solid statistically last season with the Bruins, its no coincidence Boston has moved on from both players after they committed costly mistakes for the team at different points last season.