The New Jersey Devils will honor one of the unsung heroes of the franchise on March 16 with a tribute to Jacques Caron, their longtime goaltending coach who is now semi-retired and living in Florida.
As the goaltending coach, Caron is best known for working with Martin Brodeur, and Brodeur told reporters prior to Tuesday's 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers that the honor is well deserved.
“He’s been a big part of my career and my success, so for him to get recognized by the organization, I think it’s a great honor and a well-deserved one. I know people always think he was my coach, but he had such an impact on a lot of players going back almost 20 years now. He’s so positive, such a good hockey person, survived all the turmoil of 11 (head) coaches or so and always stayed around with me and made definitely my life easier in times of transition with coaches through coaches, systems through systems.”
The tribute will come before the Devils take on the Montreal Canadiens at Prudential Center.
Caron, now in his 20th season with the Devils’ organization, is the longest serving coach in franchise history. He joined the club August 9, 1993, and served as its goaltending coach for each of its three Stanley Cup Championships: 1995, 2000 and 2003. Caron has worked with all goalies in the organization, including at the NHL, AHL, and ECHL levels, as well as prospects.
Before joining New Jersey, Caron spent 12 years (1980-81 to 1991-92) serving the Hartford Whalers organization in various capacities, including time spent as a member of their coaching staff at both the AHL and NHL level. He spent the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons as the NHL Whalers’ goaltending coach. Caron began his post-playing career in 1977-78 with his appointment as general manager of the AHL Binghamton Broomdusters, and remained with the Binghamton staff after the sale of the club to the Hartford organization prior to the 1980-81 season.
He played 72 regular-season NHL games in goal with Los Angeles, St. Louis and Vancouver between 1967-68 and 1973-74, compiling a career record of 24-29-11, with two shutouts and a 3.29 goals-against average. Caron posted his best NHL season with St. Louis in 1971-72, when he turned in a 2.52 GAA in 28 games played. His outstanding AHL career was highlighted by a seven-year stay with Springfield, 1961-62 to 1967-68. Caron’s final season as an active player was spent with the World Hockey Association’s Cincinnati Stingers in 1976-77. Born April 21, 1939 in Noranda, Que., he resides in Bradenton, FL.Tags: Hockey, New Jersey, New Jersey Devils, NHL