More good news out of Boston, Bruins fans. Dougie Hamilton has been given a clean bill of health and has been cleared for contact. Hamilton has missed the last four games due to a concussion. He made the trip to Philadelphia today for tomorrow’s game against the Flyers, where he looks to be a game time decision. Chris Kelly has also been cleared for contact, but it is likely that Kelly will sit out one or two more games before getting back in the line up. That will give the Bruins coaches and the front office a few more days to figure out what they are going to do with Ryan Spooner and Jordan Caron.
The Bruins had an opportunity to offload Caron earlier in the season, either to waivers or trade, but the injuries soon closed that window. Now, the organization has to really look at what they want out of Caron and judge if he’s a better fit than Spooner. So here are the numbers. Once you look at them, it’s pretty obvious what the Bruins should do. Spooner has played twenty two games in the NHL, as compared to twenty three for Caron. Spooner has eleven points, a +/- of -1, six penalty minutes, and forty one shots on goal. In contrast, Caron has a single point (a goal), is a -5, has twenty two minutes, and thirty shots on goal. Pretty straight forward who should be staying and who should be leaving.
The ideal scenario would be to keep the better Bruin (in this case Spooner), and send Caron down to the AHL on waivers. The waiver pool has been dived into a few too many times this season by NHL teams though. Sadly, I don’t think the Bruins are quite finished with the Jordan Caron experiment. The Bruins will probably worry that if they cast Caron into the waiver pool, he’ll get picked up this time by another franchise? What they will most likely do is give Ryan Spooner a healthy handshake for his service in the Big B’s uniform and send him back to Providence (as his contract would allow him to play for either squad), and once again give Jordan Caron another shot to be the next Patrice Bergeron. (Caron’s not a bad player, but he doesn’t fit the Bruins needs, and he really won’t be another Bergeron. (In his defense, who could?))
The Bruins will have a limited amount of time to make this decision. Peter Chiarelli may need to dust off that magic sports jacket he uses at trade time and hopefully fix one problem by getting rid of a player we can afford to lose, and perhaps pick up an extra underrated defenseman at the same time.