With this week's AGM, we go for a guy who had to take part in two changes that involved the old school NHL Reverse Draft; all leading to very new teams, just happened out of expansion. Even though he didn't see much NHL time, his post-career hockey life has seen him work with the greatest in the NHL and get some hardware in the process. This week, we look at the career of Jacques Caron.
Starting in the Ontario Hockey Association Junior League in the 1956-57 season, Caron played with the Toronto Marlboros, playing in 10 games before moving onward to the Peterborough Petes in the 1957-58 season, where he would play in 31 games. Caron stayed with the Petes for the 1957-58 season, going 24-14-4 during 43 games; then went 9-3-1 in 13 playoff games, as well as going 0-2 in Memorial Cup qualifications.
The 1959-60 season saw Caron move to the Eastern League with the Washington Presidents, where he would play in 55 games with three shutouts. However, the 1960-61 season saw him go back to Canada to play for the Senior League Rouyn-Noranda Alouettes, were he would help them get to the Allan Cup, though he would be 0-3 in the tournament.
With the 1961-62 season, Caron would move back to the States; starting in the Eastern League in five games with the Charlotte Checkers before moving to the AHL with the Springfield Indians, where he would go 4-1 in five games. Caron would stick with the Indians for the 1962-63 season, going 12-14-7 in 38 games that season. Sticking Springfield again for the 1963-64 season, Caron would play in 31 games and finished with a 12-14-1 record on the year. Caron saw more time for the Indians in the 1964-65 season, where he would play 55 games and go 21-29-4 for the year. Caron's would only see 33 games in the 1965-66 season, where he went an even 15-15-1, but then would move up to 35 games in the 1966-67 season, though with an 11-17-5 record to show for it.
For the 1967-68 season, Caron's contract was purchased by the Los Angeles Kings, as the Kings bought the Springfield AHL franchise. Caron would stick with the Springfield Kings for most of the season, going 19-18-4 in 42 games, then heading to Los Angeles for a game, which was a loss. Caron played in the Western League for most of the 1968-69 with the Denver Spurs, finishing there with a 7-21-3 record in 31 games, but still got the call to Los Angeles to go 0-1-0 in three games the Kings.
In June 1969, Caron was picked up by the St. Louis Blues in the NHL Reverse Draft, where NHL teams would pick from minor league teams and vice-versa. In any case, the 1969-70 season saw Caron back with the Spurs, where he'd go 8-16-4 in 31 games. Caron saw 30 games in 1970-71 season with a 10-13-4 record, then 0-2 in the two playoff appearances he saw. While Caron went back to Denver for 20 games for the 1971-72 season (15-3-0); he got the call up to St. Louis for 28 games, where he'd end up with a 14-8-5 record, then went 4-5 in nine playoff games that season. Caron stuck with St. Louis for the 1972-73 season, playing in 30 games behind Wayne Stephenson, which saw Caron go 8-14-5, then 0-2 in three playoff games.
The Reverse Draft struck again, as the Vancouver Canucks claimed Caron before the 1973-74 season. Caron actually stuck with the Canucks and played in 10 games, finishing with a 2-5-1 record in that season.
Caron was traded by the Canucks to the Buffalo Sabres before the 1974-75 season. That season, Caron played in the AHL with the Syracuse Eagles, where he'd play in 50 games and finish with a 16-21-9 record.
The 1975-76 season had Caron stay in Syracuse, but with the North American League; playing in 32 games with three shutouts and was awarded First-Team All-Star honors for that year. Also that season, Caron played with the WHA's Cleveland Crusaders, going 1-0-1 in two games. The 1976-77 season saw Caron with Syracuse for 22 games with a shutout before Cleveland traded Caron to the Cincinnati Stingers; playing in 24 games with a 13-6-2 record with three shutouts.
The 1977-78 season saw Caron play one minutes with the Binghamton Whalers of the AHL, before he would go into a small retirement. Caron would return for 19 minutes with the Whalers in the 1980-81 season, then he'd actually hang-up the pads for good.
Post-playing career, Caron was an assistant coach for the Hartford Whalers, before moving onto the New Jersey Devils. With the Devils, Caron is the goaltending coach for Martin Brodeur; which allowed Caron to get Stanley Cup rings in 1995, 2000, and 2003. Caron is a Special Assignments Coach now.
Though he held it down in the minor leagues, his many travels through the NHL and dealing with all assortment of leagues got Caron pretty prepared for his coaching career. Whether or not the knowledge he had was past onto Brodeur, but the experiences probably aided him along.