The Colorado Avalanche had a contract they wanted to move: David Jones, signed through 2016 and with a $4 million a year cap hit.
The Avs weren’t going to use a compliance buyout on him, but instead decided to get rid of the contract the old fashioned way: Through a trade.
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Jones and defenseman Shane O’Brien, another contract they wanted rid of, were traded to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Cory Sarich and an old friend: Alex Tanguay, who you may remember from a championship team that featured Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy.
“This trade adds needed size up front and grit on the back end while also allowing us to get younger.” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “We like the fact that Jones plays a north-south game, drives hard to the net, kills penalties and is a right hand shot. O’Brien is a hard guy to play against, knows how to get under the skin of the opposition and stands up for his teammates. We are pleased to add both of these players to our organization.”
Cory Sarich has 1 year at $2M left before becoming UFA in 2014, versus SOB's 2 more years at the same price tag. So this will help clear up the blueline logjam a bit more quickly, too. Sarich will be 35 this season and won a Cup with Tampa Bay. Noticing a trend? Sarich has been a durable defenseman in his career, at one point owning the NHL's ironman title, but has never added much in the way of offensive pop. A few assists here and there. (0.14 career PPG.) Shane O'Brien's numbers are actually pretty similar to Cory Sarich at Shane O'Brien's age, so there's a bit of upside in the deal for Calgary (plus if David Jones were to finally break out--lol).
It has been clear since the end of the season that Tanguay wasn't too interested in being part of an extended rebuild and that the management wasn't too enmaoured with the player anymore either. Sarich, who was bafflingly re-signed last summer for another two years after spending a bunch of time in the pressbox, was a candidate to be moved as soon as the ink was dry on his new deal.
The return from the Avs is rather underwhelming. Jones is a 28-year old 6'2" winger who has twice scored 20+ goals in the NHL, including a career high 27 in 2010-11. He's not a high volume shooter, though, so his production is dependent on a relatively high personal SH%. His career rate is 14.7%, but with less than 500 shots under his belt, it's entirely possible we don't really know his true shooting ability and that number will come down a tad.
And they have him until 2016! Woo-hoo!
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