Caron signs a one-year deal with the Bruins

Caron signs a one-year deal with the Bruins
July 16, 2014, 4:00 pm
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(AP Photo)

The Boston Bruins obviously have some kind of plan for much maligned winger Jordan Caron. The 2009 first round pick was tendered a qualifying offer at the end of July, and was signed this week to a one-way deal that will pay him a salary of $600,000 for next season.

The 23-year-old Caron is actually taking a pay cut after getting paid $640,000 last season, but that was to be expected after he struggled to a single goal, three points and a minus-8 in 35 games last season. Caron went nearly the balance of the entire season without producing anything offensively, and continues to struggle to do much besides play safe, conservative two-way hockey with some decent strength along the boards.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said during the NHL Draft in Philadelphia that a new NHL home for Caron might be the best plan for him moving forward, and that there were a couple of teams that have called about him. Caron joins Zach Hamill and Joe Colborne as first round picks over the last decade that never really lived up to their billing after drafted high by the Black and Gold.

The very affordable $600,000 NHL minimum cap hit and his cachet as a former first round pick might push some cap-strapped team to take a chance on him, and – in the worst case scenario – he could be an incredibly cheap and NHL-experienced 13th forward to start this season.

Whether it’s with the Bruins or another team, however, don’t expect much of Caron as his meager 2014-15 contract would indicate. Caron just doesn’t have the skating speed or skills to play a top-six role on a team like the Black and Gold, and doesn’t have the toughness or mean streak to effectively play a bottom six role in the NHL.

The one thing Caron can do is fill in for a few games if a team suffers an injury, and not really hurt the team with sloppy, careless mistakes. Perhaps that’s the sell job being done by Chiarelli when other teams are calling to kick the tires on the first round disappointment.