Alain Caron

Alain Caron was a small but high scoring minor leaguer for 17 years. He did finally get a chance to play in the NHL in parts of two less than successful seasons when the NHL expanded from 6 to 12 teams in 1967.

The 5'9" right winger bounced around with many teams and leagues before finally showing what he could do with the St. Louis Braves of the old CHL. He scored a record 77 goals in his first CHL season. One of the main reasons Alain had so many goals was, much like Montreal Canadiens' superstar Bernie Geoffrion, due to his very hard slap shot. Caron's slap shot also earned him Geoffrion's nickname, "Boom Boom". However Caron's production would slip to "only" 46 goals the next season.

For the next two seasons, Alain played in the AHL and the WHL before getting his big break in 1967. Originally Chicago Blackhawks property, Alain was drafted by the NHL's newest expansion team, the Oakland Seals. Apparently they caused quite the stir when at the draft they announced they were proud to select "Boom Boom . . . . Caron!"

During his time with the Oakland Seals, Alain played in 58 games recording 9 goals and 13 assists for 22 points. Caron found he just did not have the time in the NHL to release his incredible shot. Goalie Gary Smith summed it up to his poor skating by NHL standards.

Before the start of the 1968/69 season, Oakland traded Alain to Montreal. Alain's stay in Montreal was short as he appeared in only 2 games (no points) before again being banished to the minor leagues where he would play for 8 more years, including 4 in the WHA.

Described as a shy kid who kept to himself, the highlight of his WHA years must have been his time with the Quebec Nordiques. Finally the Frenchman could feel at home. It showed on the ice, too. Though he was a veteran player by this stage of his career, he managed to tally 36 and 31 goals in two full seasons.

In 1976 the 37 year old led all scorers in the NAHL (a WHA minor league) with 78 goals in 73 games, plus another 21 goals in 14 playoff games! But a massive heart attack later that summer forced him off the ice for good.

Caron took a job working for a Quebec brewery, but in 1986 another heart attack killed him. He was only 48 years old.


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