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

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.

  • Captain Ron

    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!

  • Captain Ron

    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!

  • Captain Ron

    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.

  • Captain Ron

    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.

    • Captain Ron

      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.

  • Captain Ron

    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.

    • Willi P

      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.

        • ChinookArchYYC

          I was really excited about Comeau getting better results this year, after last year where he couldn’t catch a break. To this point, beyond the first few games he’s been impossible to defend. Bad decsion making, no clue where to be ont he ice, falling on many of his shifts. He has been bad.

          What’s interesting is that according to Feaster he instisted on a 1 year contract last offseason to prove he was better than he showed. He should have taken the 2 year offer.

  • TheRealPoc

    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.

    • Yeah I thought he’d at least be fine as bottom-rotation option. But he has been awful. I’d say the reason he fooled me last year was he spent time with Backlund and Stempniak which probably made him look a lot better than he is.

  • Colin.S

    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.

  • Captain Ron

    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.

    • 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.

      • Captain Ron

        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.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      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.

      • Captain Ron

        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.

        • Captain Ron

          I know, I think many are frustrated in not being let in on the direction of the team. Maybe if Feaster could be honest about where the team is and where its headed, so many of us wouldnt speculate so much & assume the worst. We shall soon see if Joey can pull a Kipper lite.

        • Captain Ron

          I know, I think many are frustrated in not being let in on the direction of the team. Maybe if Feaster could be honest about where the team is and where its headed, so many of us wouldnt speculate so much & assume the worst. We shall soon see if Joey can pull a Kipper lite.

  • Captain Ron

    IMO the next 5 games are the season and will dictate which way the ship get,s turned.There has to be more to these moves than meets the eye,but Feaster is not exactly dazzling anyone with any detectable intellect.That statement about them targeting McDonald was just plain silliness.

  • thymebalm

    You guys are so shortsighted to think that Jay Feaster didn’t have a radar on McDonald. The Flames have NHL scouts that have a ranking on EVERY player playing in the NHL. Where they rank McDonald in that mix compared to their own assets likely put him on the radar for our NHL scouts when we started to have real goaltending troubles. How is that so hard to believe?

    • Captain Ron

      He’s a 30ish year old career backup goalie who was recovering from a herniated disc. Why would they have him on their radar? Not like he was great or anything before the injury. Also no shortage of goalies in our system that are showing some promise for the future. And then there’s Ramo who will most certainly be here next season.

  • thymebalm

    Couldn’t they have had a meeting that was went something like

    Jay “Kipper is great, but what if he goes down?”

    Weis “Well, we got all these goalies we can try but I can’t give you any guarantees that they’ll stick: Irving, Karlsson, Taylor, Brust”

    Jay “Ok, what if that doesn’t work?”

    Weis “Well, if that doesn’t work there are going to be a bunch of tweeners moving through the waiver wire we can grab in the short term, McDonald, Danis, some other ones, i dunno”

    Jay “Ok that sounds great, Can I trade Kiprusoff yet?”

    Weis “Not yet, sir. Sorry.”