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.