It was announced on Sunday evening that Nick Johnson, who lead the Boston Bruins with 4 goals this preseason, had been put on waivers for purpose of assignment to the Providence Bruins.
Headed to Providence alongside Johnson will be forwards Matt Fraser, Matt Linblad, Ryan Spooner and goaltender Nicklas Svedberg.
Johnson’s departure from the big league will seemingly make 22-year-old winger Jordan Caron the thirteenth forward on the Bruins bench.
This season is do or die for Jordan Caron who seems to have made the team more out of a technicality rather than a display of improved performance.The Bruins front office seems to think they have a better chance of holding on to Nick Johnson than they would if they had waived Caron. When asked about making the cut for the 2013-2014 season, Caron seemed just as surprised as the rest of us.
“Every day I knew I had to come in [to camp] and work really hard in order to win a job. Everybody wants to play in the NHL. It’s the best league in the world, so there are always going to be guys that are pushing. It’s really hard to get here, and it’s even harder to stay. When you have a job to lose it really gets you even more into it. The last few games were better, so I just need to build on that and feel confidence. I had some really good chances and was really hard on the fore-check, and I need to keep doing those things to help myself offensively.”
This guy was definitely sweating over Spooner and Johnson showing up and killing it this preseason. Reilly Smith, who came over with Loui Erikkson from the Dallas Stars, locked up that right wing spot pretty quick during the preseason, making Caron’s departure to the waiver wire a forgone conclusion in the eyes of Bruins fans everywhere. Now, with Carl Soderberg nursing a lower-body injury after hitting an ice rut in last Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, Caron could very well be manning the left wing on the third line when the Boston Bruins open the season against the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night.
Head Coach Claude Julien seems less concerned about the loss of a proven offensive player in Nick Johnson, recently touting the *cough* improvement of Jordan Caron:
"The last couple of games, I thought there was a little bit more urgency in his game, in doing the things we talked about. His whole camp was what we know about Jordan; reliable and doing the things he has to do. But we asked him to do a little bit more. He’s 23 years old, he’s still a young player, and he’s a player that an organization doesn’t want to give up on too early. So we feel as coaches that we can help him improve and we’re going to work with him to make him improve in those areas.”
I’m going to allow myself a month of patience with Caron before I start to call for his head on a pike. Julien needs to calm down on the steady, grind-it-out, defense first, third line garbage and keep his kid on a short leash. I nearly stroked-out five or six times watching the third line last year. The Boston Bruins cannot afford to depend on the first and second lines to generate all of the offense for this team. If Jordan Caron does not make the most of of this unbelievably lucky break he got and light the lamp a few times, I say, let him walk and bring up the guys that have proven they are ready for the NHL.