Caron hopes for big rookie season with Bruins

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Caron hopes for big rookie season with Bruins

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON While Jordan Caron isnt taking part in the rookie training camp or any first year festivities, the 21-year-old could be the most impactful rookie skating for the Bruins this season.

Caron actually cracked the opening night Bs roster in Prague last season after an impressive training camp, and played respectable hockey in 23 NHL games with seven points (three goals, four assists) and a plus-3 over the span. The Quebec native does many of the things that the Bruins put value in: he plays responsible two-way hockey, skates with strength on the puck and has an admirable work ethic that should allow his game to continue growing over the course of his career.

With Mark Recchi retired and Michael Ryder moving on to the Dallas Stars there will be at least two forward roster spots up for grabs heading into the season with Benoit Pouliot, Tyler Seguin and Caron essentially competing for two spots as training camp begins. Things could change and a rookie or two could emerge during camp as they normally do, but the 2009 first round pick knows its a pivotal year for him.

The novelty of playing in the NHL is over for Caron, and now its about the business of becoming a pro hockey player.

I was pretty excited when I came in to Boston the other night and it was great stepping on the ice with them again, said Caron, who made his first appearance at Bs captains practice on Tuesday. I think I want to improve every season. I think I got better last year and I want to keep improving this year. I want to spend the whole season in Boston, make my name with the team and get a full time job.

Caron showed plenty of potential, but would need to be better than 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 47 games and a minus-7 for the Providence Bruins last year if hes going to stick in Boston. The youngster knew he had to work to do, and spent the summer with Patrice Bergeron and Antoine Vermette in Quebec City gearing his offseason program around improving his skating speed.

If I play the way Im supposed to and do what I have to then I put all of the chances to make the team on my side, said Caron. Its pretty much the same thing every year for me. Ive been told to improve my skating and my explosion. I also think one thing that will help me with offensively is going to the net. If I get faster then its going to be even better offensively. I also realized that I shouldnt be afraid to try some different things offensively.

Caron was one of Bergerons guests during his day with the Cup in Quebec City, and the youngster was blown away by the reception for their native son as he trekked the Stanley Cup around the city. The 21-year-old didnt do much raising or touching of the Cup on his own, however, after serving as one of the Black Aces through the postseason.

That will come when Caron carves out a role for himself in Boston and the Bruins go about the business of repeating as Stanley Cup champs.

Here are the Bs expected forward lines when the regular season begins, but it all could change depending on performances during training camp.

Lucic-Krejci-Horton

Marchand-Bergeron-Peverley

CaronPouliot-Kelly-Seguin

Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

Sources: Bruins engaged in trade talks involving Ryan Spooner

This probably won’t come as a complete shock to those watching the way things have played out with him this season, but the Bruins have engaged in discussions with multiple teams about a Ryan Spooner trade, per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. 

The 23-year-old Spooner was mentioned casually a few months ago as possible fodder in a Jacob Trouba deal with the Winnipeg Jets, but that deal never really materialized prior to the Jets signing their young, frontline D-man to a two-year deal. The Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks have all expressed interest in Spooner, per one hockey source, as it appears that things simply aren’t going to work out for him in Boston. 

It’s been a challenging year for Spooner with pedestrian numbers of three goals and eight points in 24 games, but there are plenty of mitigating circumstances behind the slow start. Spooner has been pushed into playing left wing for the bulk of the season rather than his natural, preferred center position, and he’s been dropped to the fourth line by Claude Julien over the last few weeks. At times he’s also been pulled from the Bruins power play where he racked up six goals and 17 points working off the half-wall last season.  

Julien talked about the former second round pick in frank terms after this week’s win over the Carolina Hurricanes, which featured a Spooner snipe to the top corner during a successful shootout for the Black and Gold. 

“I think at times that [David Krejci] line goes quiet, other times it’s better. We’ve tried different guys on the left side right now and one [Spooner] might give them speed but doesn’t win as many battles,” said Julien of his search for stability at left wing alongside Krejci and David Backes. “The other way [with Tim Schaller] guys are a little harder right now, and they spend more time in the O-zone. So we’re really trying hard to find the right balance there.”

Trade talks have increased the past few weeks because A) the situation has worsened recently with Spooner’s prolonged stint as a miscast fourth line winger and B) the speedy, skilled forward will most likely be a man without a spot when 22-year-old left winger Frank Vatrano returns sometime around the mid-December range. 

According to one source, the Bruins are asking for a “top six forward” in exchange for a package including Spooner, and it’s a lead pipe certainty they’re looking for some goal-scoring given their 24th ranked offense this season. That represents a bit of an organizational sea change after the Bruins searched low and high for a top-4 defenseman in trade over the summer. The emergence of 20-year-old Brandon Carlo, and the Boston defense’s performance across the board, has lowered the Black and Gold’s priority list need to trade for a D-man. 

The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer in 18 of their 25 games this season and badly need somebody that can put the puck in the net from one of the wing positions. Unfortunately for the Bruins, there aren’t a lot of top-6 forwards readily available that could make an immediate impact. It’s highly doubtful any team is going to fork one over for an asset like Spooner that’s been downgraded due to the way he’s been utilized by the Bruins this season. He hasn't played with the same creativity or confidence this season after posting 13 goals and 49 points as their third line center last season. 

So it remains to be seen what the Bruins will get for Spooner after they offered him and a draft pick to Buffalo for rental forward Chris Stewart a couple of years ago. That was a deal Sabres GM Tim Murray turned down before trading Stewart for considerably less at the trade deadline.

The bottom line: the Bruins are working the phones discussing possible Spooner deals, and it feels like there is some motivation from B’s management to move a player that doesn’t seem like he'll ever be a proper fit in Julien’s system. 

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at the Bruins setting a franchise record this season for fewest practices in a regular season. Thanks compacted schedule due to the World Cup!

*Pavel Zacha is adjusting to life as a rookie in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, and things are getting better as they go along.

*Manitoba Moose players relive their favorite Star Wars moments prior to the team holding their Star Wars Night.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman sits down with new Florida Panthers head coach Tom Rowe to discuss the massive changes in that organization with the firing of Gerard Gallant.

*Good for Anders Nilson putting a rainbow decal on the back of his goalie to mask to support some gay friends that have faced public resistance in their lives.

*Bruce Garrioch has his weekly NHL notes with several players, including Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald, potentially on the trade block if anybody wants them.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffering a broken leg that will keep him out 6-8 weeks.

*There was no blood for the Vancouver Canucks fans, but there was still plenty of drama in a win over the Maple Leafs.

*For something completely different: The World Baseball Classic works for everybody except for Major League Baseball, and that would appear to be a problem.