Flames Waive Blair Jones - UPDATE, Flames demote Irving as well

Kent Wilson
February 16 2013 11:02AM

As per Darren Dreger today, the Flames have waived fourth line center Blair Jones, likely with the intention of sending him to the minors. 

This is a fairly surprising move. Jones is one of only two natural, NHL-ready centers currrently on the active roster (Stajan is the other). And while he hasn't put up any points, the former Lightning has been capable enough in a support role. His on-ice SH% of 2.27% probably makes him seem worse than he is, but then the Flames also have Blake Comeau who is at 3.03% but also a team worst -19.20 corsi/60 (Jones is even with a 45% zone start). 

This sort of suggests Sven Baertschi is ready to return, but then I don't know why they'd chose to demote Jones in response. Steve Begin (frequent healthy scratch) and the aforementioned Blake Comeau (who has been simply bad) are more natural candidates to sit on the waiver wire. Heck, Baertschi himself would be more suited to a plane ride to Abbotesford, either for a conditioning stint or because he was only playing 5 minutes a night when he was in the line-up anyways.

The other possibility is this is some sort of paper transaction, enacted due to some vague rule in the CBA. Even then, I don't know why it would be Blair Jones the team would choose to expose and not, you know, 34-year old free agent, no one will pick him up anyways, Steve Begin.

Anyways, let's see how this plays out. 

UPDATE - Flames announce Leland Irving has been re-assigned to Abbotsford today with Danny Taylor being recalled in his place. As predicted, last night pretty much killed any hopes Irving had of being an NHL goalie here in Calgary.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#51 negrilcowboy
February 16 2013, 03:44PM
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schevvy wrote:

WTH is this? A joke? Are they messing with us?? This move makes 0.0% of sense. Leading faceoffman and an ACTUAL NHL PLAYER, and they waive him. Are they planning on offer sheeting O'Reilly? That's the ONLY WAY this makes a lick of sense. Awful.

easy schevvy buddy, who are we to question. afer all uncle feasta has intellectual honesty working here. we are merely passengers on the flames cosmic tour. by the way only columbus is below us on the ledger.

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#52 RexLibris
February 16 2013, 03:46PM
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Easy explanation, someone hacked Feaster's smartphone and changed the date to April 1st.

Irving out now. While I think MacDonald is a decent backup goaltender, backing him up with Taylor is questionable at best.

Maybe Feaster is steering the Flames using the same strategy he did with the Lightning? Up side, Flames may yet draft first overall. Down side, it could still take years to crawl from the wreckage.

And to think, 48 hours ago I wrote something so positive about the direction of the team.

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#53 schevvy
February 16 2013, 03:48PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Easy explanation, someone hacked Feaster's smartphone and changed the date to April 1st.

Irving out now. While I think MacDonald is a decent backup goaltender, backing him up with Taylor is questionable at best.

Maybe Feaster is steering the Flames using the same strategy he did with the Lightning? Up side, Flames may yet draft first overall. Down side, it could still take years to crawl from the wreckage.

And to think, 48 hours ago I wrote something so positive about the direction of the team.

It's all your fault Rex!

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#54 Baalzamon
February 16 2013, 03:52PM
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dick wrote:

I have yet to see anything on the Flames website or any where else for that matter confirming the waiving of Jones. Has any one seen any thing official other than this supposed report from Dreger? On the surface this move makes no sense.

as I said a few comments up, Dreger is the only source anywhere on this move.

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#55 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 03:56PM
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Kypreous as well has said he's on waivers, also a bunch of the beat reporters are confirming it as well. He's on waivers, and no, its not an early april fools joke.

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#56 negrilcowboy
February 16 2013, 03:58PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Easy explanation, someone hacked Feaster's smartphone and changed the date to April 1st.

Irving out now. While I think MacDonald is a decent backup goaltender, backing him up with Taylor is questionable at best.

Maybe Feaster is steering the Flames using the same strategy he did with the Lightning? Up side, Flames may yet draft first overall. Down side, it could still take years to crawl from the wreckage.

And to think, 48 hours ago I wrote something so positive about the direction of the team.

gotta agree with schevvy its your fault rex, uncle fester is a brilliant gm, just misunderstood.

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#57 Monaertchi Gaudnett
February 16 2013, 04:23PM
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Still nothing on the Flames website about Jones, but the Irving/Taylor thing is.

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#58 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 04:29PM
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Flames only want to report "good" news, like apparently demoting Irvine.

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#59 RexLibris
February 16 2013, 05:13PM
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And this is where I pull back the curtain to reveal that....

I AM the quisach hadarach, er, I mean Uncle Feaster! Muh-wha ha ha ha!

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#60 Dan
February 16 2013, 05:37PM
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Well, at least they realized Taylor is better than Irving. That's really the only ray of sunshine regarding the Flames news today. Jones is/was a useful 4th line player that could win face-offs, kill penalties, and piss his opponents off. The Hartley quote says the Flames want grit in their lineup? Jones gives you more grit and ability then either Comeau or Begin.

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#61 Canmore Red
February 16 2013, 07:11PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Easy explanation, someone hacked Feaster's smartphone and changed the date to April 1st.

Irving out now. While I think MacDonald is a decent backup goaltender, backing him up with Taylor is questionable at best.

Maybe Feaster is steering the Flames using the same strategy he did with the Lightning? Up side, Flames may yet draft first overall. Down side, it could still take years to crawl from the wreckage.

And to think, 48 hours ago I wrote something so positive about the direction of the team.

Easy explanation, Win get Seth!

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#62 Legend of Weevil
February 16 2013, 07:30PM
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i hate both of these moves. irving was playing well(a heck of alot better then mcdonald and probably better then a untested goalie in the nhl) also i was just commenting last night how well jones was playing and how teh 4th line was playing well.

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#63 Cowtown 1989
February 16 2013, 08:00PM
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File this one under the increasing list of questionable moves by Feaster. Jones gave us a decent faceoff option, energy in an increasingly limited role and desire to play in this city. Had he scored in the shootout, a four year No Trade, No Movement deal likely awaited him from our pals at the Intellectual Honesty office.He was a cost effective player with speed...why would we need that.I hope the comments about the Oil making a claim are unfounded.If they are, you are getting a good one. I have lived through and endured the Young Guns Era. This is starting to walk and talk like that same duck.

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#64 negrilcowboy
February 16 2013, 08:04PM
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lookin at abbotsfords roster, i realized the flames organization is far worse off than i thought, not one blue chip prospect in abby. a collection of middling late twenty something career minor leagurers. where is the intellectual honesty. burning contracts like a drunken sailor on goalies, aint intellectual.

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#65 ChinookArch
February 16 2013, 08:36PM
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Darren Dreger is generally pretty reliable, but I haven't seen waiver of Jones listed anywhere else, including TNS' own NHL transaction page. If the Flames braintrust really believes Comeau is the solution the problem at center, this team is in far bigger trouble than I thought.

If this true why is the team so tight lipped? Why all the secrecy? It looks like they'll be no mention till he's picked off waivers.

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#66 Tonelli's Stache
February 16 2013, 10:58PM
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Everyone ready for a Brad Richards trade?

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#67 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 11:08PM
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Tonelli's Stache wrote:

Everyone ready for a Brad Richards trade?

lol, you wish, Vincent Lecavelie make your way on up.

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#68 Tonelli's Stache
February 16 2013, 11:20PM
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Colin.S wrote:

lol, you wish, Vincent Lecavelie make your way on up.

That sounds about right. Or let's play with no natural centers just to change it up. Let's go wildcat.

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#69 clYDE
February 17 2013, 12:04AM
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Someone please tell me what the plan is for this franchise.

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#70 Deaner_
February 17 2013, 12:39AM
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thymebalm wrote:

Questionable moves by Feaster? What overreactions. Irving stunk and Jones was even corsi against fourth liners playing ~10 mins a game with 1 point. He wasn't the problem put he's not going to change the game for us one way or another. It's a paper transaction, I think he's trying to lose him to waivers to free up a contract.

Agreed. It's a sad, sad time in flames land when people are this chocked about a fourth liner we picked up off waivers last year being placed back on waivers.....how many wins does Jones in reality represent??? I get the criticism of the waisting of contracts on MacDonald and presumably Taylor but these moves are not game breaking. Jones/Begin/Nemisz/Horak, with the team as a whole preforming as they have been does it really matter who is inserted in the all valuable 4 line centre position on a team that sits 1 point up on last place Columbus?

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#71 Captain Ron
February 17 2013, 12:46AM
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So why is it that I can only find any mention of this news on the various hockey blogs? Not mentioned on TSN anywhere that I could find. Didn't see it on NHL.com either. Is this information even correct? It doesn't make any sense unless there is some ting else in the works and they wanted to waive a player that they know would get picked up. Thus the reason for waiving him ahead of Comeau. I don't have much of a problem with Jones for the role he fills. You would think we could get a late round draft pick for him at least though. Maybe he had a run in with one of the coaching staff? If true it seems to be a puzzling move given the injury situation right now.

OK after writing this I found something here: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/icechips/

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#72 canUdigitSucka
February 17 2013, 02:13AM
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Leland Irving was not the issue! The Flames organization is loaded with a bunch of donkeys and need to get some horses that want to win the race! To some Jay Bouwmeester game is and improvement but to many like me, this lady defence is not the recipe for success moving forward. We need nasty defencemen that are physical around are net! The message in NHL has to be Calgary is tough and nasty in there own zone but until that happens, the Calgary Flames will be considered a soft and inviting team in there own zone!

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#73 TheBurnward
February 17 2013, 08:14AM
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Maybe Feaster's just pissed that Hartley won't play Cervenka at Center?

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#74 Primo
February 17 2013, 08:46AM
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It's painfully obvious the Flames have wasted another 1st rounder in Leland Irving. Combine that with Greg Neimz only confirms any pick after the 5th overall is a crap shoot.

I like the direction Feaster and company is taking the team and can only hope the Goodreau, Gillies, and the other selections he has made work out!

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#75 Primo
February 17 2013, 08:49AM
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Boxersam wrote:

Oilers claimed Jones off waivers.

Instead of reporting erroneous information you should perhaps go play a game of darts.

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#76 meat1
February 17 2013, 09:08AM
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This is another terrible use of asset management. And it can't be allowed to continue to happen. We are a team that desperately needs smart personnel moves to begin to make up for all the other poor ones made in recent times. There is no way we are better off with a contract in the hands of Steve Begin, and Blair Jones gone. If in fact Feaster runs all decisions through Wisebrod, Conroy, etc, then I guess they all have to go. What concerns me the most is that I assumed we would be freeing up contracts with the trading of some veteran players in exchange for picks. Seeing us waive Jones worries me that we are considering bringing in contracts, kinda like when we traded Dion, and were blessed with 5 contracts coming back. We don't need more players, Jay, we need better ones.

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#77 meat1
February 17 2013, 09:14AM
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Hey clYDE, if by chance you do find out the direction we're heading, pass it on to meat1. And then tell Jay, because he's struggling a smidge with it, too.

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#78 negrilcowboy
February 17 2013, 10:11AM
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meat1 wrote:

Hey clYDE, if by chance you do find out the direction we're heading, pass it on to meat1. And then tell Jay, because he's struggling a smidge with it, too.

cash in on it and sell it in book form. uncle feaster and his underlings weisbroad and smiley conroy should exercise some intellectual honesty and start dropping some of these flat tire contracts they have an affection for. abby is no feeder systems and outside of perhaps five prospects who are a couple of years away there is squat in the works. realy blair jones, comeau, smith etc, are not fifth line worthy on a middling team. another year looking in on the playoffs with jerome and company quickly approaching shady brook retirement home.

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#79 Kevin R
February 17 2013, 10:39AM
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thymebalm wrote:

Questionable moves by Feaster? What overreactions. Irving stunk and Jones was even corsi against fourth liners playing ~10 mins a game with 1 point. He wasn't the problem put he's not going to change the game for us one way or another. It's a paper transaction, I think he's trying to lose him to waivers to free up a contract.

I do agree that we are talking a 4th line centre, so we arent talking a retarded Dion type of trade here. I do wonder why he was picked as the first one for the shootout in the Minny game & then gone 2 games later. Explain that decision making? Overreaction? Hardley. This move doesnt have a lick of sense & coupled with several other retarded moves, it adds up in the big picture & shows a lack of competent use of assets. So if you want to lose a contract dont sign Macdonald & Taylor within days of each other. I watched the goals again by St Louis & quite frankly, Macdonalds goals were softer than Irvings. In games Irving played, he saved the Detroit game that was already won, beat Columbus, beat Dallas, lost in a shoot out against Minny & lost to Vanc & all purposes lost to St Louis. Really, was that so bad? Kipper is supposed to be out for 2 weeks, you telling me he couldnt ride with Irving & Taylor until Kipper got back? No, to gain contract wiggle room so the Flames can make a move to improve their team, they waive a player that may have gotten a mid round pick at the trade deadline.

Everyone knew that if Kipper didnt play a Vezina season or were to get injured this team were hooped making the playoffs. In fact its been like this for the last 3 years. Well both have happened & also Iggy has 1 goal in 12 games & no one is about to trade us a #1 goalie except for Vancouver. Over reation, hardley, if we can see the situation we would have thought the people running this team could as well. You want to free up contracts, waive Babchuk, surely someone desperate like Ottawa would scoop him for free if we are just in that give away mood. Heck may as well waive Butler & Smith, its give away day at the Dome. But geez we'll have our contract flexiblity back.

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#80 Rick
February 17 2013, 11:01AM
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Feaster is the smoothest talking flat out liar that I may have ever seen. He actually had the nerve to say that the Flames had targeted MacDonald quite a bit prior to them picking him up off of the waiver wire? A guy who has been badly injured and has not played a game in almost a year is coveted by Feaster and the Flames? Oh come on the Intellectual Honesty crap that Feaster puts forth is such a crock, I cannot believe that the media in this town are so nice to this Ownership and Management team. Are the media so frightened of Edwards, King, Feaster, et al that they do not have the courage to speak the truth and ask the tough questions to these people? Oh God this is so depressing trying year after year to cheer for this team with the idiots that run it.

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#81 schevvy
February 17 2013, 11:13AM
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Jones clears

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#83 vowswithin
February 17 2013, 11:18AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Jones clears waivers and here's what the third line will likely be today:

Glencross - COMEAU - Iginla.

What. The. Hell?

I guess he can be sent down any time in the next 30 days. That works i guess, glad he's still with us!

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#84 Willi P
February 17 2013, 11:19AM
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schevvy wrote:

Jones clears

Figured that might happen. Seems Flames fans value him more than he is worth.

What's your plan "B" Feast.

Does he get traded now that he can be sent to the minors (like the Calgary Tower) or did this backfire on him.

If so, who is next on the waiver wire so he can clear the contract he appears to need to do.

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#85 schevvy
February 17 2013, 11:21AM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Jones clears waivers and here's what the third line will likely be today:

Glencross - COMEAU - Iginla.

What. The. Hell?

I...I don't know.

WHAT THE HELL DO THEY SEE IN COMEAU THAT WE DON'T??

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#87 TheRealPoc
February 17 2013, 11:30AM
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Remember when people were actually okay with resigning Comeau? "Surely his shooting percentage will return to the mean again, because continually wasting chances into the breadbasket wasn't a true indicator of his actual skillset. He can still be a play driver for this club...and no, not worried about this guy having eggs for brains, not a problem."

The guy is an absolute spare.

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#89 schevvy
February 17 2013, 11:36AM
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Comeau must be blackmailing Hartley.

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#90 Colin.S
February 17 2013, 11:44AM
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Someone put a theory on Twitter this morning that they may have put Jones on Waivers because he wants out of Calgary, and there were no trade takers, so they threw him on waivers. That would kinda make sense IMO. But still, completely shocked he wasn't pick up by anyone.

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#92 mattyc
February 17 2013, 12:05PM
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I think having Jones clear waivers means he's probably fighting with Horak for the 4th line position now.

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#93 Captain Ron
February 17 2013, 12:12PM
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When a guy clears waivers and other teams could have him for nothing seems to indicate that he is not attractive enough to garner even a seventh round pick from someone. Let alone a mid round pick at anytime. I would think every GM in the league will shop their players around before placing them on waivers. This would seem to be one of the most basic tasks a GM would have to do with his player moves. And every GM knows if they pass on a player like Jones the chances are good they could claim him for nothing off waivers at some point. Jones is clearly replacement level. So is Comeau and I hope he is next on the list. He should clear waivers too. So Horak is in and Jones is out no big deal from what I can see. Hardly worth all the Feaster bashing over this move. Probably the coach that tells the GM who he wants on his roster anyway. Jones and Comeau both have little to no trade value anyway unless it is for other replacement level players.

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#95 Kevin R
February 17 2013, 12:42PM
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Captain Ron wrote:

When a guy clears waivers and other teams could have him for nothing seems to indicate that he is not attractive enough to garner even a seventh round pick from someone. Let alone a mid round pick at anytime. I would think every GM in the league will shop their players around before placing them on waivers. This would seem to be one of the most basic tasks a GM would have to do with his player moves. And every GM knows if they pass on a player like Jones the chances are good they could claim him for nothing off waivers at some point. Jones is clearly replacement level. So is Comeau and I hope he is next on the list. He should clear waivers too. So Horak is in and Jones is out no big deal from what I can see. Hardly worth all the Feaster bashing over this move. Probably the coach that tells the GM who he wants on his roster anyway. Jones and Comeau both have little to no trade value anyway unless it is for other replacement level players.

Well I guess maybe I'm watching these games different than most. Perhaps I am comparing him too much to other players floating around the ice, because he seemed to have hussel, won some faceoffs & seemed to antagonize other teams players. I guess we dont want any of those type of players on this team.

Dont forget Karlsson was untouched on waivers & we got a 7th for him afterward. I think energy forwards have more demand than backup goalies, except on the Flames. I defend that Jones will have more value & will get a 5th or 6th rounder at the trade deadline. Right now teams arent going to add contracts when they are trying to give players they already have a chance to show they can play that role. JMO. I am totally relieved we still have him because I still think he is a great 3rd & 4th line option & would raise his level of antagonism in the playoffs. I'm frustrated with Feasters periphery tinkering that accomplishes absolutely nothing. Well with Lehtinen injured, lets see if we can pull one out of Dallas tonight.

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#96 Captain Ron
February 17 2013, 01:18PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

The issue isn't Jones relative value around the league, it's his relative value to the team given the other options. The Flames are apparently playing Comeau as a third line center this afternoon. They have only one other natural center on the roster outside of Jones right now.

It's just an odd decision.

I would certainly agree that the decision is an odd one and not the one I would have made with Comeau still on the roster. I am assuming this has more to do with a coaching choice though which doesn't exactly explain the move either.

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#98 Willi P
February 17 2013, 01:56PM
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@Kent,

Can you provide the source of the Hartley comment?

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#99 Captain Ron
February 17 2013, 02:10PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Well I guess maybe I'm watching these games different than most. Perhaps I am comparing him too much to other players floating around the ice, because he seemed to have hussel, won some faceoffs & seemed to antagonize other teams players. I guess we dont want any of those type of players on this team.

Dont forget Karlsson was untouched on waivers & we got a 7th for him afterward. I think energy forwards have more demand than backup goalies, except on the Flames. I defend that Jones will have more value & will get a 5th or 6th rounder at the trade deadline. Right now teams arent going to add contracts when they are trying to give players they already have a chance to show they can play that role. JMO. I am totally relieved we still have him because I still think he is a great 3rd & 4th line option & would raise his level of antagonism in the playoffs. I'm frustrated with Feasters periphery tinkering that accomplishes absolutely nothing. Well with Lehtinen injured, lets see if we can pull one out of Dallas tonight.

I liked having Jones on our team and I agree on his 3rd - 4th line option status. This year though I thought I was watching "Jones Lite" at times when I compared him to the player he was last year. Not sure I agree on his mid round pick value though but it would depend on the buying teams situation somewhat I guess. I also firmly believe that this move has more to do with the coach than the GM. Without NHL quality goaltending we aren't going anywhere in the standings so I'm not getting to bent out of shape over any of this. What happens over the next month should go a long way to deciding what the real direction of this team is. I am predicting a busy trade deadline for Feaster as a seller.

Considering what we did to Dallas here they may be out to prove something. It could get ugly unless MacDonald stands on his head in this one. It is times like this when we really need Kipper when he is on his game.

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#100 Captain Ron
February 17 2013, 02:17PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

There’s stuff we can share. There’s stuff we can’t share.

Says Hartley. Suggests there's some off-ice stuff going on.

That's the only thing I can think of which justifies this.

When these head scratchers happen its a good bet there are extenuating circumstances we don't/won't hear about.

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