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Jordan Caron’s up-and-down season continues 01.12.12 at 12:17 pm ET
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When Jordan Caron made the Bruins out of training camp this season, he probably didn’t expect to be sent down to Providence and recalled five separate times before the halfway point of the regular season.

Yet for a number of reasons — most notably the emergence of Benoit Pouliot as a regular in the B’s lineup and Zach Hamill’s return to relevance — that’s the way it’s been for the former first-round pick, who had said prior to the season that his goal was to stay up with the B’s for the whole campaign. Caron’s made the trip to Providence and back far more often than he had expected, but he isn’t complaining.

“It’s not far. That makes it easier,” Caron said of all of the back and forth Thursday after being recalled once again. “I need to play games, and I can’t be sitting here a month without playing, so I think it’s pretty good for me to go down there and get some games.”

In 12 AHL games this season, Caron has two goals and seven assists for nine points. Coach Claude Julien said after the team’s optional skate Thursday that Caron needs to work on his offensive game, and that he can’t assume he’ll be the next guy called up whenever he’s sent down. Caron agreed.

“I need to keep improving and create stuff offensively,” Caron said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do. When I go down there, it’s not just to play. I need to play well and keep getting better.”

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Bruins recall Jordan Caron from Providence at 10:35 am ET
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The Bruins recalled forward Jordan Caron from Providence Thursday, a move that gives them a spare forward with Brad Marchand suspended.

The Bruins have sent Caron to Providence five times this season. In 12 AHL games, Caron has two goals and seven assists for nine points. In 13 NHL games this season, Caron has one goal and two assists for three points.

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Bruins prepare for Canadiens 01.11.12 at 1:17 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — With the Canadiens coming to town Thursday, the Bruins returned to practice Wednesday after Tuesday’s 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Jets.

All members were present for the B’s, including the suspended Brad Marchand. Normally the team’s second-line left winger, Marchand skated as the extra forward on the third line with Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley and Zach Hamill.

The Habs, who are currently 12th in the Eastern Conference, are coming off a 3-0 loss to the Blues Tuesday night.

Thursday marks the Bruins’ final game of a four-game homestand before they hit the road for four in a row. Coach Claude Julien said he expects to call a forward up from Providence for the trip, as the Marchand-less B’s currently do not have an eligible 13th forward. Assume that player will be Jordan Caron.

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Better late than never, Zach Hamill earns extended stay 01.03.12 at 1:15 pm ET
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Once forgotten, Zach Hamill has taken Jordan Caron's job. (AP)

WILMINGTON — Zach Hamill has made himself relevant again.

The eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft, Hamill failed to make significant strides in his first three full seasons in the organization, so much so that if you were to google his name, the word “bust” would be the second option on auto-complete.

Now, Hamill has turned things around, making a home for himself in Boston with strong play in place of injured forwards at various points this season. With Tuesday’s move that sent 2009 first-rounder Jordan Caron back to Providence, the 23-year-old Hamill has now established himself as the team’s extra forward.

There’s a bit of irony in that, as Providence coach Bruce Cassidy actually called Hamill out this summer, referencing the fact that younger players (Caron is 20) were making the team over him, and that he had yet to meet expectations.

“At the end of the day, when you’re in your fourth year in the same organization, it falls upon yourself just to push people,” Cassidy said of Hamill. “I think the individual has to recognize what’s going on around him. A few people have passed him and it’s time for him to start passing a couple of younger guys that have come in the last couple of years. And whether he’s ready to do that, we’ll find out in September.”

Hamill didn’t need to hear Cassidy’s words to realize the situation. He was well aware of it when Caron made the team out of camp last season, while Hamill didn’t even make the trip to Europe.

“I’m a smart enough person that I can see that,” Hamill said of the fact that he was being surpassed by younger players. “I see those kind of things, but at the same time you don’t want to look too much into it. The more you look into it, the more you drive yourself crazy. … There’s been encouraging words along the way, but there are obviously ups and downs, so every day it’s different, but you try to keep an even keel.”

Hamill doesn’t like to think of it as a competition between he and Caron, but he does admit to watching Caron make the team over him as motivation. Factor in that each year without Hamill on the roster meant more chatter that the Bruins’ may have missed on such a high pick, and there were plenty of things to motivate the youngster.

“Obviously that motivation sometimes pushes you,” Hamill said. “Sometimes there are words that you don’t like, but at the same time, you can’t think too much of it. There obviously were times where I’ve been doing something, and I know in the back of my mind that it’s there. It’s definitely something that I don’t forget, but I try not to focus on it too much.”

Coach Claude Julien said after Tuesday’s practice that the team feels comfortable with Hamill as its 13th forward given how much time he’s put in in the minors. In eight games for the B’s this season, Hamill has two assists, and has seen time on both the power play and penalty kill. Though he figures to be a healthy scratch for the time being, it’s quite surprising that he’s able to claw his way onto the roster. When the Bruins, who were known for their depth, signed Benoit Pouliot, had Chris Clark in for a tryout and had Caron vying for a bigger role, Hamill didn’t worry about how he’d end up where he is now. Instead he focused on waiting for the opportunity and turning it into a bigger opportunity.

Said Hamill of his mindset: “A lot of good todays end up with good tomorrows.”

While Hamill’s yesterdays had people writing him off, his todays have gotten him to the NHL for an extended stay.

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Fifth time for everything: Bruins send Jordan Caron back to Providence at 12:27 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Following Tuesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, the Bruins sent forward Jordan Caron to Providence.

The move marks the fifth time this season that B’s have sent Caron, their 2009 first-round pick, to the AHL. In nine games for Providence this season, Caron has one goal and five assists for six points.

Caron’s demotion means that former eighth overall pick Zach Hamill will be the team’s extra forward for the time being. In eight games for the Bruins this season, Hamill has two assists and is still looking for his first career goal.

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Bruins recall Jordan Caron from Providence 01.02.12 at 10:53 am ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins recalled forward Jordan Caron Monday after sending him to Providence on Dec. 23.

In four games with Providence since the assignment, Caron picked up one assist in the AHL, and has one goal and five assists for six points over nine games for Providence this season. In 13 NHL games this season, Caron has one goal and two assists for three points.

Caron was on the ice for the start of the Bruins’ practice Monday at Ristuccia Arena, skating as an extra forward on the Merlot Line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille.

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Bruins recall Steven Kampfer, Jordan Caron 12.19.11 at 10:19 am ET
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The Bruins recalled defenseman Steven Kampfer and forward Jordan Caron Monday after the two were sent to Providence for the weekend.

It was the second time this month the B’s have sent the two young players to the AHL, as it has allowed the healthy scratches to get game action to remain fresh. Caron had an assist in two games this weekend for Providence.

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