Flames Acquire Blair Jones


Reports coming down today that the Flames have dealt Brendan Mikkelson to the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Blair Jones.

Mikkelson was acquired on waivers from the Ducks last season, but never really got a foothold in the Calgary organization. He spent most of his time as healthy scratch last year and has been plying his trade for the Abbotsford Heat this season.

Blair Jones is a 25-year old center with 78 NHL games under his belt. Mostly a 4th liner to this point in his career, Jones has scored just four goals and 10 points. This year, Jones has appeared in 21 games for Tampa.

The potentially good news is Jones has been absolutely buried by Guy Boucher so far with an offensive zone start of just ratio 34%. His possession rate in light of that tough assignment isn’t terrible (-6.41/60), so he could another high functioning depth player in the Tim Jackman mold. He’s also a big dude (6’2", 215 pounds) who can bang bodies and forecheck hard. Unfortunately, he’s not going to help the NHL’s worst face-off team. His win rate this season so far is just 40.3%

Im guessing this acquisition was in response to Sutter’s recent lamentations about the size and toughness of his center crew. Jones brings both down the middle. He’s also young, cheap and was had for an asset the team didn’t really value any more.

That said, Jones isn’t going to change the current fortunes of the Flames that much. He’s a fourth line player and the fourth line isn’t really the problem.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    If you give up nothing why should you expect to get something good back? The Flames need a lot, including a depth center/4th liner. I’m not excited by this deal, but the Flames may have picked up something for nothing. What is everyone expecting before the deadline – a blockbuster? It probably won’t happen, if at all this season.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Seriously people? Why are folks so upset about this move? I don’t get it.

    This is a good move. Why not. Whats the problem? 2 players that didn’t fit with their clubs get new starts. Congrats to both!

    Big trades don’t happen over night, and to be honest with you, I hope nothing big happens until we are closer to the trade deadline.

  • Gange

    People get all wrapped up in nothing.

    Mikkelson wasn’t going to make the big team. It was clear when the call ups started happening.

    Does Calgary need this guy? No, I don’t think he’s needed but So what? If he plays a couple of games at the big league level that’s more than Mikk was going to play.

    This isn’t a story moving on…

  • Franko J

    Blair Jones in — Horak sent back to AHL?

    Now is Blair Jones a player who can be moved back and forth from the AHL to the NHL without waivers?

    Jones is in the mold of a player like David Moss, without all the injuries.

    Hey I guess this is the big shake-up after losing 9-0 to the best team in the NHL. I wonder what the Flames have for an encore when this team “really” hits rock bottom after next weeks worth of home games?

    I guess the trade is in direct correlation of the depth we have on the farm.

    Plugging holes in a dam which is cracked down to the foundation is what this team does best.
    Florida Panthers West is what the Flames have become.

    Flames = Futility

  • Ken V.

    I still reiterate the fact that IMO Feaster is focusing too much on depth and the club at the AHL level. He may be able to build a winner in the minors but the baby flames aren’t going to win Stanley. This group needs a shake up. But not the sort of knee-jerk reaction that landed us a black eye, a pylon, and a few pucks for Phaneuf and more disappointingly Aulie. JBo is my vote to make the exit. This guy belongs in the east.

    • Ken V.

      Problem is Ken, even desperate GM’s see our carcus lying on the road after that game. Right now the calls to Feaster & offers will probably pretty much be a joke. Feaster needs to stay the course & get this roadkill to the end of February where the playoff contenders get seperated from the pretenders. Then it becomes not what I can scoop from the Flames for dick all but I better get this guy because I dont want him going to X team we are battling for a playoff spot or home ice advantage with. The trade today is about as serious as we want Feaster to do. The coach is a different animal, punt Butter & let Hartsburg & Conroy man the bench until we hire a new coach this summer. Or keep him, either way, this team isnt listening to coaches anyway. I thought I heard Ivanans was reassigned back to Abbey today, anyone else hear that as well?

  • MC Hockey

    Here’s my take on the trade, both good and bad:

    The Good (possibly): 1) Jones could be decent in a 3rd-4th line role. It appears by specific years in the AHL and WHL stats that when he had a chance (probably more ice time), he scored fairly well. 2) We have enough AHL and NHL-depth defensemen so losing Mikkelsen is not an issue and is helpful for next year (when among other things Clay Wilson is on a 1-way contract) and thus good to have less D. 3) The presense of Jones could push others Forwards to try harded and play better to save their jobs (especially centres like Stajan).

    The Bad: 1) It appears Feaster is following Darryl’s lead by trying to be the rare guy who can pick undervalued players who suddenly become much better in Calgary (happened maybe twice – signing Glencross and Jackman)..yah and I can pick the best stocks on the markets too! 2) We have too many forward on the roster even for 2012-13 so I would like to see some go so that more young forwards get a chance next year – not only Baertschi, Horak, Byron, but perhaps also Greg Nemisz, Lance Bouman, Ryan Howse (played with Horak in past), Marcus Granlund, Max Reinhart, and many others.

  • everton fc

    “2) We have too many forward on the roster even for 2012-13 so I would like to see some go so that more young forwards get a chance next year – not only Baertschi, Horak, Byron, but perhaps also Greg Nemisz, Lance Bouman, Ryan Howse (played with Horak in past), Marcus Granlund, Max Reinhart, and many others.”

    Of this group… I am not super-keen on the 5’7″, 153 lb Byron. He’s just too small. Nemisz… Bouma… Do not increase my adrenaline either, but may be decent 3rd/4th line options…

    Jones is a better option than Bouma, Nemisz… Maybe even Byron.

    Howse is a bust. Granlund may have skill, but he too, is “smallish”… And not close to his brother, in my opinion.

    Baertschi I like… But smallish… And seems more a playmaker than a goal-scorer sometimes… To me, Reinhart is more in the mold of where we need to go. Ferland, too. Ramage… Bigger guys who can skate. Ferland has grit. An edge. We need this type of character. Every winning team does.

    No mention of Backlund here. Backlund still gets a lot of support here. I hope you are all right, but I see him as a 3rd line two-way centre, at best.

    Hope I’m wrong.

    And I’s still like to see what Rheault and Kolanos would do up here with some minutes. I know there not necessarily “prospects”… Well, maybe Rheault still is… But I think they’ve earned a shot.

  • Derzie

    This type of trade shows that Flames management is a mess. Muckers and grinders that are part of someone’s old boys club. Everyone that comes to Flames is known to Brent, Feaster or some member of the Flames past. Shows zero tolerance for risk which equals zero chance for reward. Wow. I’m glad I’m not a poor sap with season ducats. I’d feel violated by this team. I watch every game on the tube though and am starting want some of those hours back.

  • everton fc

    Grabbed this comment about Jones from a Bolts fan off TSN in the comments box:

    “Coming from a bolts fan here in tampa… jones can absolutely fly. he his an energy guy 4th liner. he hits, skates hard and can put the puck in the net from time to time. im sure a lot of you saw him in the playoffs for us last year. he wore number 49. i hate to see him go. he was never on waivers to the guy down there. he is on a two way deal. he was always our first call up if we ever had an injury but he needs a full time shot in the NHL. hes ready. and put up 55 points in 55 games for the ads last yr. i hope mikkelson can do something for us. we need D depth bad. the flames won this deal. jones is solid. and looks crazy fast for someone who is 6’2”

    Maybe we poached a good one here? And if Comeau actually comes around…

    Who knows??

    • Captain Ron

      Oh! So what are you sayin? Jay Feaster might have made a move that was, is , might turn out to be beneficial to the team now and/or in the future and only gave up someone who will never play for the Flames. Sounds like a positive to me. But then again what do I know since I don’t think “played in the NHL for Blah Blah Blah number of seasons proving I’m a hockey guy” is a necessary asset on every GM’s resume before they can have any success in the NHL. What a huge pile of BS that is.

      If Jones becomes a serviceable depth player I’ll be happy with that. Anything extra is a bonus.

      • everton fc

        For the record, Captain… I have never been a fan of Feaster, and have posted the same here often.

        If Comeau and Jones do well… Feaster should still be replaced.

  • everton fc

    Feaster needs to slow down on his plans to build a Stanely Cup contender! So far so good, also, don’t change the Dome Foam(beer) at the Saddledome! Cause rite now the fans might as well drink and create there own entertainment in the stands!

  • everton fc

    On a completely unrelated note I was SO close to meeting Peter Loubardias today. He was calling the Hurricanes-Tigers game at the Enmax Centre for Shaw, and I saw him just before he left down the stairs. Man, I would’ve been so happy to meet him. I wanted to say, “Yo loubo, some kinda game there eh?”. hahahaha just thought I would share this to try and lighten the mood.

  • Gange

    You guys are not thinking ahead at all. Try looking beyond this season, would ya?

    At the end of this season Jackman, Kostopolous, Ivanans, Morrison, and Moss all come off the payroll. This is a cheap, and younger, player to fill one of those spots.

    It’s not going to set the world on fire but I highly doubt they got this RFA to not qualify next year.

    Consider the message sent that contracts are up for competition.

  • supra steve

    My god, another d-man on IR, this time Scott Hannan placed on it with an upper-body injury. Our D corps is looking more and more like the Oilers…*facepalm*

      • RexLibris

        My guess is, if both teams stay the course, the Oilers are drafting in the 3/4 range and the Flames draft in the 6/7 range. So not quite a race for bottom, but pretty close. A lot of it may depend on what Feaster does at the deadline and the performance of the replacement-level talent, if any trades come to pass.