OK, so the Bruins traded Seguin for Eriksson and signed Iginla as a free agent. The top 6 forward positions are locked. The more-than-effective forth line is intact. Soderberg was brought over to play and Kelly is a nice 5th centre to have around in case of injury (he could centre any of the four lines on a temporary basis). The defence returns 4 veterans and has 3 young players to add into that mix... to be determined...who is the 7th D. Starting goaltending is a lock and the back-up will be a two man race between Svedberg and Johnson.
In desperation for something to write about most Bruins writers want to feebly analyse who will be the third line winger to play with Soderberg and Kelly. So I will do the same. The candidates have been:
Anthony Camara...my personal favourite having seen him play in the OHL but he needs a least a year in the AHL
Ryan Spooner...a centreman who would best be left to develop in the AHL and be the first call-up in case of a centre injury
Jared Knight...who missed most of last year with injury and needs that year of AHL experience but having seen him play in the OHL he will be a good player
(...someday Camara-Spooner-Knight will be a great line for the Bruins)
Smith or Fraser...acquired from Dallas in the Seguin trade...both could have potential but if they could not crack the Dallas line-up and deliver...are they ready to play in Boston...best for them to start the year in Providence
Daniel Paille...may have earned a shot to play on the 3rd line based on his excellent playoff experience but that only changes the discussion to a slight shift of focus to who will play on the 4th line wing...the candidates are the same
Torey Krug...is my out-of-the-box-thinking candidate I wrote about in a previous article but whether the Bruins would try to convert him to a forward is not likely...but I like the idea.
So that leaves a number of very inexperienced Providence candidates or tried-them-already candidates.
Which brings us to Jordan Caron. Caron seems to be the front runner in most peoples view based on his previous experience with the big club. In 2010-11 Caron played 23 games, had 3 goals, 7 points and was a plus 3...in 2011-12 he played 48 games with 7 goals, 15 points and was a plus 0...in 2012-13 he played only 17 games scoring 1 goal, had 3 points and was a plus 1. Caron signed a one-way deal in the off season for less money than he made the previous year. Caron may be assured of a position with the club this year but as the 13th forward. He could fill-in on the 3rd or 4th lines on a temporary basis but nothing from his past contributions makes him a lock to even make the team.
So the 3rd line wing position remain a void for now. So the good news is we have something to talk about. We can only hope for someone to have a break-out year and win the position in training camp...or Chiarelli may have some more work to do on the trade front. Also don't be surprised if a veteran unsigned winger gets a try-out in camp.