Word just came out this afternoon that the Flames dealt Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich to the Colorado Avalanche for David Jones and Shane O’Brien.
The move isn’t a surprise in terms of the player involved from a Calgary perspective. 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.
Jones faced top competition on the Avs last year and started a lot of shifts in the defensive zone. He also got buried with one of the worst possession rates on the team (-8.8/60 corsi rel), so it’s safe to say that’s not really his area of strength. He was similarly underwater the season previous despite much easier competition, which suggests Jones probably isn’t a guy who is going to advance play very effectively. His contract stretches to 2015-16 at $4M/year.
Shane O’Brien is basically a slightly younger,
marginally cheaper (actually exact same price) version of Sarich. He’s big, he’s not terribly mobile and he’s not going to score a lot of points. He’s a functional middle tier defenseman who can bang bodies who probably shouldn’t spend too much time on the ice with the other team’s best.
The Flames need to staff the team next year and were desperate to deal a malcontent is what this deal comes down to. It’s unlikely either Jones or O’Brien will play a significant role in the genesis of the Flames rebuild.