NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. Its got to be a little strange to be Jordan Caron these days. The Bruins forward had appeared to carve out a third line role for himself with a great final month to the NHL season playing with energy and effectiveness while so many of his teammates looked fatigued around him. But the NHL lockout has wiped out this years Boston Bruins training camp and now the 21-year-old Caron finds himself as one of the more notable skaters in AHL training camp with the Providence Bruins.
Caron is with the P-Bruins because he falls under the minimum games played required for waivers to be sent to the AHL and similarly to fellow Quebecois forward Patrice Bergeron during the 2004-05 lockout Caron will spend the duration of this lockout in Providence.
Its a little strange for Caron, who was a Charlestown roommate with Tyler Seguin last season, but hes in Providence to do a job and keep his roster spot warm in Boston when the NHL finally starts playing games.
Its a little bit different, admitted Caron. Its a little bit later than normal training camp too. We had fitness testing this morning and then we got right out onto the ice. Essentially its all the same thing. Its just with different guys.
I think being in game shape is going to be important. I know a lot of the NHL guys dont have leagues to play in right now, so its not too fun for them. I feel pretty lucky to be here in a real training camp and to get the season started. I just want to be a part of the team and help them win.
Caron set career highs with the seven goals, eights assists and 15 points in 48 games with Boston last season, and finished with 10 points and a plus-3 in his final 20 games of the season with the Bruins. That performance opened the door for the Bruins to trade third line winger Benoit Pouliot, and gave the former first round pick the inside track on the starting job this season.
That should still be the case for Caron once the NHL gets moving. But in the meantime Chiarelli is looking to see more consistency and dominance out of Caron at the AHL level after some hard working skating with Patrice Bergeron and Antoine Vermette this summer in Quebec.
Caron said once again he was working on foot speed and quickening his skating stride this summer, and his GM sees results.
He looks like hes moving well and hes driving the net, said Chiarelli. Year to year with these young guys, when they do the work you can tell with the way they handle themselves. Certainly I saw that with Jordan, and so far so good.
Its only been one day for Caron, but its a good start for a forward that will have a lot more eyes on him now than he would have if Boston had normal NHL training camp.