With the recent roster cuts heard 'round the Bruin-iverse on Wednesday, many were shocked, angry, and trapped in a glass case of emotion. Very few fans didn't flip their shit when they saw this.
But nevertheless, here's the remaining roster for training camp—which lasts all of two more preseason games.
Forwards: Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Loui Eriksson, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Simon Gagne, Chris Kelly, Carl Soderberg, Matt Fraser, Daniel Paille, Craig Cunningham, Jordan Caron, Reilly Smith, David Pastrnak, Bobby Robins
The biggest gripe people have had has seemingly been cutting guys with potential like Ryan Spooner, Alex Khokhlachev, and even Justin Florek for known commodities such as Jordan Caron. Jordan Caron, who they purposely brought back. A former first round pick who came back to the team on a pay-cut. They want this guy, for some reason, on this team. Why, you ask?
1. He's got size.
It's no shock to followers of the team that their roster is a little.... little. Jordan Caron, he's big. He's one of the tallest forwards on the team along Lucic and Carl, all three at 6'3". He's also heavier, a solid 204lbs—tied for 4th among forwards. If Julien and crew want a heavier, bash-'n'-bruise 4th line (and it's clear that they do), Caron is more suited for this type of game than say, the 5'9" 192lb Seth Griffith.
2. He's cheap.
That pay-cut he took to come back? It makes him the cheapest forward option on the entire team. Only Tyler Randell and Rob Flick have cheaper cap hits at the NHL level. He's less expensive than Florek, Fraser, Koko, Spoons, Knight, Grittith. All of them. All of the guys you'd rather have on the team over Caron? They cost more. Including Pastrnak.
3. He's got "valued NHL experience."
So what if Caron is a career -4. So what if he has just 28 points in 123 NHL games played—a points-per-game of .227. (For reference, Gregory Campbell's was .256 in 2013-14). Point is, he's played in 123 NHL games. To people in the organization, that matters. The experience of being in a playoff game, the experience of facing a rival, the experience of fighting for the division. Caron's, kinda been there. Has he helped? Usually, no. But he knows what it's like.
Is he likely to go off on a tear, score 15 goals, and exceed all expectations? No. He hasn't been a point-per-game player since playing for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in the QMJHL (sorry for going all Pierre McGuire on ya there). Am I saying that I agree with the reasons listed above?
But it's what Claude Julien is thinking. And possibly to an extent, Peter Chiarelli. From what it sounds like, there has been some back-and-forth between the coaching staff and the front office, so we'll see how it plays out. But I can pretty much guarantee you that Caron will be in TD Garden next Wednesday. Whether it's on the bench, or the 9th floor, is still TBD.
Or, you know, I'm wrong again and he gets axed before the end of camp. One can dream.