Although it probably wasn’t the right wing signing Bruins fans were hoping for, the team did agree to terms on a contract with Jordan Caron in recent days. Caron, who was a restricted free agent, agreed on a one-year, one-way deal for $600,000 — a $40,000 cut in salary from last season, according to his agent, Kent Hughes.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean Caron will be in Boston to start the season.
As general manager Peter Chiarelli said earlier this offseason, “I think he can be a full-time player . . . I have talked to him about this. It may be that it is time for him to get a chance with another team. So I do believe he can be a full-time player.
“As I said at the draft, I’ve talked to a few teams about him and Jordan wants to stay in Boston but he would welcome another opportunity also. So I will continue to explore those.”
The former first-round pick is still just 23. He had one goal and two assists in 35 games last season, and he has 12 goals and 16 assists in his 123-game Bruins career.
“I think expectations are kind of open-ended on this situation,” Hughes said. “If there is a trade that presents itself, the Bruins will definitely consider it and I am inclined to agree that it may be time for him to have a fresh start with an organization. Having said that, until the Bruins find the right fit, they still own his rights and we needed to, within a certain timeline, conclude an agreement, which we did.”
Given the fact that the Bruins are up against the cap, though, Caron could provide the team a cheap option and find himself right where he was last season, playing sparingly as the 13th forward. For now, Caron is waiting to hear from the Bruins, waiting to see if he will continue his career in Boston, or elsewhere.
“When you’ve had a player up and down within an organization for a period of time and as far as his role on the team, at least, there hasn’t been the progression over the last couple of years, at that point in time, we often see teams and players kind of going in a different direction,” Hughes said.
“Whether a fresh start helps, from the Bruins’ perspective they’ve got a first-round draft pick who has played a number of NHL games over his rookie contract plus one, and they would want some value back. But, ultimately, I can’t speak for Peter and the Boston Bruins.”
The Bruins — who have yet to sign entry-level free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith — are now $3.818 million under the salary cap, assuming they take the approximately $4 million in relief from using a long-term injury exception on Marc Savard, according to capgeek.com.