Flames trade Tanguay and Sarich for David Jones and Shane O’Brien




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– pic via James Teterenko, wikimedia commons


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.

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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.

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  • RexLibris

    I think arguments about the better players going out or coming in are best put aside right now. What matters is how those players are utilized.

    Perhaps Feaster called Sakic and asked him if he was interested in Tanguay, or that Tanguay was interested in returning to Colorado.

    Feaster then asked for a pick or prospect in return, to which Sakic said no dice, but I’ll give you Jones.

    Feaster’s response was if that was the return then he needed to offload Sarich in exchange for a defenseman like O’Brien. Sakic is willing to take Tanguay if it costs him the addition of Sarich and the removal of Jones and O’Brien. He gets a talent upgrade on the wing in Tanguay and a possible downgrade on the blueline in Sarich that his roster can absorb.

    Deal done.

    Perhaps Sarich plays well in Colorado on a better roster. Maybe Jones lights it up and scores 20 goals to Tanguay’s possible 15. Who knows. But what this is ultimately going to come down to is how these players are utilized by their respective clubs and the length of time they are useful.

    I agree with Kurt in that this move is lateral and not exactly in keeping with a rebuilding effort, but at the same time Feaster has only begrudgingly said that he is rebuilding and has talked about exploring non-traditional means of doing so.

  • joey joe joe jr shabadoo

    @Jeff Lobowski

    I doubt the Flames could have gotten more than a 3rd round pick/serviceable AHLer for Tanguay. Some may not like Feaster, but he’s not an idiot. If he could have gotten a decent prospect or a 2nd round pick; he would have. Tanguay is clearly on the decline and has 3 years left on his deal. Feaster got what the market offered. Tanguay is one of many soft/undersized players the Flames have cultivated over the last two years. As for adding him as a piece to move up in the draft, I’m not sure that helps. If I were GM of the Avs/Panthers/Lighting/Preds/Hurricanes I would have next to no interest in Tanguay. I would be asking for one of Gio or Glencross, and not a declining Tanguay, if a useful vet were to be part of a package to move up in the draft.

    At the end of the day the Flames moved out two players who didn’t fit into the organizations plans moving forward, nor did those two players want to be here. As for Jones and SOB, sure you’re probably right in that it’s bit of a stretch to call this deal a ‘win’ but it certainly isn’t a loss. Tanguay will likely score more than Jones, but Jones is grittier and that addresses a need. Sarich and SOB is a wash. Sure there is one more year of SOB than Sarich, but lets be honest here, the Flames aren’t making the playoffs this year or next anyway.

    So what’s the issue? Are we just complaining for the sake of complaining here? On what planet would Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich gotten you more?

    Wild Prediction: Flames fans will be disappointed with what we’re about to get for Camellerri.

    • BurningSensation

      It just never seems like Feaster gets either the best player in any deal and always seems to be adding very marginal prospects or players. That is very concerning

      • People in these comments aren’t being honest with themselves when evaluating the Flames roster. Feaster doesn’t ever get the better player because he deals from a weak, desperate position. Also, the Flames roster has mostly been garbage.

        Ask fans of other teams not in Western Canada who Curtis GlenX is. They don’t know. Jiri Hudler? “Oh yeah, he plays for Detroit, right?” Tim… Jackmon? Perennial, “I only score a lot when I’m in a contract year” Stempniak? If the roster stayed exactly as it is, our opening day starting line would be GlenX-Stajan-Stempniak. VERY underwhelming.

        Let’s be serious. The Flames roster has been garbage for way too long and there’s nothing to trade. Of course they can’t get GREAT talent, they have nothing to offer.

        • That is true to a point. I also question his timing. Trading Jbo days before the deadline and not trying to improve the offer of jurco,oulette and a second in order to allow Jbo to continue his games streak was goofy. Detroit changed the forward to jarncrok in an offer for kulikov, a day later. That seems like a heck of a lot better than what the flames got.

          • Oh, I definitely agree that his trade of Iginla and JBo didn’t produce the best results. I simply think that other GMs either don’t like Feaster or that he just gets desperate and takes anything.

            Feaster also traded a 1st rounder for SOB several years ago and he traded Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards for Jussi Jokinen and Mike Smith. Not quite the person we want running our franchise IMO.

            I guess my biggest point is just that Jones + SOB need to be given a chance. The $$ amount and contract length differences are so minute that they’re mostly irrelevant. People are overreacting a bit, likely based on recent returns being poor and the belief that this franchise was somehow going to change completely in this one week.

            Hey, if everyone is right, and Jones + SOB ARE garbage, all the better for our draft position in 2014, right?

          • joey joe joe jr shabadoo

            Time will tell

            the first round pick and Cundari seem worth while, and who knows with Berra. Real tough to say the Detriot offer was better. I don’t have a crystal ball and I’m pretty sure none of us do.

        • Completely agree. But what is the benefit of trading crap for other crap. We should be acquiring better players, stockpiling picks, prospects or shedding contracts. Everything else is a complete waste of time. We both agree our assets are essentially worthless in terms of acquiring better players now. But good GMs can often turn vets or reclamation projects into future assets. Or at least flexibility in short expiring contracts.

      • joey joe joe jr shabadoo

        Bottom line is the Flames don’t have any assets that would get you significant return.

        If you were a GM of any other team would you have given up more than what the flames have gotten in recent trades?

        Feaster’s hands have been tied. He inherited a team full of declining assets with NTC/NMC. If he could have waved a magic wand and some how got high end prospects for Iggy, Regehr, Tanguay, I’m sure he would have.

        This thing was headed towards the ice berg long before he took the reigns.

    • I said this 30 posts ago and people looked over it completely. I concur 100% with you.

      The $$ difference between Tanguay and Jones is MARGINAL, at best. $500K. THAT’S NOTHING! People keep saying “Flames have cap space, Flames have cap space”, and they want CGY to use it.

      Okay, Flames just got rid of 2 people who didn’t want to be here. Tanguay did not want to be here. Sarich did not want to be here. One whined, the other asked for a trade.

      If it was well known around FN that they wanted out, don’t people realize that other GMs know that too? That’s called doing their job. Same situation as Dany Heatley telling the press he wanted a trade. It limits the player’s trade value and forces GMs to take what they can get.

      This move isn’t going to get them into the Cup. Stop-gap measure while the kids develop. Do people really want a Flames team full of kids who SHOULD be in the AHL?

      I’m not a Feaster apologist. In fact, my effigy of him is ready for burning should the need arise. But seriously, neither Jones nor SOB has played a single game yet and people are crucifying the both of them. Most of you have only seen them play a couple times a year. I saw them play A LOT. Give them a chance.

  • Willi P

    Honestly, I don’t know how people can be against this deal, yeah everybody realizes we didn’t win it, this is what I take from it: .

    1)Trade Relations aren’t completely broken with the Avs. We did as good as we could with what we had to offer in Tanguay. This brings veteran “leadership” to Colorado, and Tanguay had nobody to pass to anyways with Iggy gone. Colorado will be able to give Tangs soft minutes because they can throw the ROR line to the dogs. It goes to reinforce the movement in Colorado by getting Sakic, Roy, Foote (limited role), and Tangs back in Colorado all along while infusing youth into their system. Tanguay would look nice beside Mackinnon/Landeskog or whoever it ends up being.

    2) Feaster is able to promote his idea of “younger and bigger”. Did we necessarily get more skilled ? Not really. But I would take anybody over Sarich. Yeah Tanguay is probably more skilled than Jones, but Jones plays a better physical game, And IMO I think Jones can face tougher competition than Tangs. Salary isn’t an issue, neither is the term.

    All in all, it’s a fine deal. I’m for it. You can’t really be against this deal.

  • seve927

    I don’t see the point of this trade. Unless Jones or O’Brien are more tradable. O’Brien I’ve hated since he was a Canuck, and always loved the stupid penalties he took. Now it won’t be so funny. Jones, I couldn’t care less.

    • Willi P

      As far as I know, both Tanguay and Sarich had NMC’s, the fact they were traded proves the point of the trade. Neither wanted to be here so don’t let them wreck the room, pretty simple. The return is a wash, cap is pretty much the same and the team gets younger.

      I would bet the farm that Feaster shopped Tanguay around the NHL and if he could have received a 3rd rounder, he would have done the deal.

      • seve927

        I don’t really disagree, but I don’t think it speaks well for Feaster if he thinks these are the kind of guys that are going to help this team going forward. Jones, if we didn’t need his cap hit to make the floor, would be a good candidate for a buyout. I can’t imagine that this is the best they could do for Tanguay. If they can play the crap out of Jones on the powerplay and he can have 20 goals by the deadline and they can trade him for something useful, I’ll understand. If they want him for the duration of his contract, I don’t like it at all.

        • BurningSensation

          That doesn’t even make sense? So you trade for a guy where you give a low value asset for a guy that showed he could score 20+ goals but got him cheap because he had a bad year in a lockout shortened schedule & injuries. The guy then has a good year scores like 20+ goals & then you decide you want to trade him? Am I missing something?

          • seve927

            I am very much in favour of guys that play both ends and can score at even strength. That’s why I like trading older poor possession power play specialists for young two way players. Disagree if you like, but there’s no error in my logic.

  • Franko J

    I like the trade.

    I think given the value Tanguay and Sarich, there was not much Feaster could do. Sure I would have liked a draft pick, but I guess when you trade lemons, expect limes in return. Besides, Feaster is purging the dressing room of any malcontent attitudes and continues to change the core of this team.

    For the time being the only way to judge or gauge this trade is a matter of seeing how these players will perform in a Flames uniform come next season.

    In the meantime I sure do hope Feaster can at the very least pick up a second round selection or maybe two in draft.

  • flamesburn89

    I really wonder if Feaster is gonna go after his buddy Lecavalier. I wouldn’t mind seeing Lecavalier come to CGY if it was a 1 or 2 year deal with a cap hit less than 3.5mil. Even if he turned out to be a bit of a bust in Flames colours, the Flames could always shop him at the deadline. Afterall, he is a former Rocket Richard winner, not to mention Cup champ (not really tho). He’d probably be a good presence in the dressing room, for what that’s worth.

    Any thoughts?

  • Tommynotsohuge

    As for the trade. Very lateral, but we are giving a couple of guys who don’t want to be here for two guys that are pumped to be here. Plain and simple. This a new era for the team and we must have guys here who are up for the challenge of turning this gong show around. A pure win.

  • Tommynotsohuge

    What if we don’t trade any of our picks. Offer Vinny, Briere, Richards $2-3m per year for 2-3 years. Get Iggy back. Sell them on being a team that we will be the underdogs with a chance to prove everyone wrong. That would instantly put us into a playoff position. Plus we would be restocking our cupboards. I don’t care if they are aging. Those four guys are pure role models to the kids kids we are bringing in.

    It is one Hell of a crazy idea, but let’s be honest. We have all seen uncle Feaster try crazier things.

    • RedMan

      I am a huge Iggy fan, but absolutely disagree with he being a role model for the youth. Iggy has refused to play a defensive game for years here. Going to the Pens, I thought we’d see him do it as he had his dream team and a chance for the cup, but no way. in no time Iggy’s ice time was that of your average 3rd or 4th liner.

      As far as good people go, Jarome is top shelf, but he did not help the cause here on ice as his stedfastness to his own style kept the team from ever playing the coaches system (or so it appears). there has been a disconect for years in calgary between what the coach/team has been preaching for style/system and what has actually happened on the ice, and this is Iggy’s fault, either as the cause or as the captain that couldnt hold others accountable to play the coaches system.

      I’d love to see Iggy back in a few years in some PR role, but NOWHERE near the ice.

  • Tommynotsohuge


    Interesting idea… goes against the grain of what most successful teams have done in icing a you ngteam. I would even add Jagr to that mix. A group of superstars to mentor the next generation.

    Add Baertshi, Reinhart Hudler Glencross, likely Monahan and our Roster is not that bad.

  • BRHLBryce

    I love Jay Feaster.

    As someone living in Denver, I find it hilarious the attitudes towards the guys traded to the Flames.

    Sarich is useless at this point we all agree on that. Tanguay can still play and put up points, with talent up front, he’s a good fit on the Avs in a support role.

    Jones is a guy who is entirely built to score on the PP, which he had no chance of getting in Denver next year. Duchene-Landy-OReilly-Downie-McGinn-Stastny are all ahead of him on the forward pecking order. So at 4 million for that term? Yes he will probably put up decent stats in Calgary because who the hell else is going to play PP, but his 5×5 ability is next to nothing.

    O’Brien is a fringe player, who I suspect the Flames picked up as a favor to local taverns, since the noted booze hound can’t stay in shape and routinely shows up fat to camp. He no longer fights (0 fights last year, 1 or 2 the year before) still racks up the PIM with 60 in 28 games, and has absoluetly no hockey sense.

    The biggest factor, is the Flames ended up with an extra year of OBriens deal, and a Jones albatross contract.

    Have fun with that.


  • Michael

    ‘The return from the Avs is rather underwhelming’

    Underwhelming sums it up nicely, much the same can be said of most of Feaster’s trades. Not good, not terrible, but definately sub par. We will have to judge Feaster over the entire weekend, and hope he steps up his game. The way things are trending I suspect another underwhelming weekend.

    • RedMan

      I dont see this as underwhelming… Tangs HAD to go… and we got some qualities we need… SOB is strong and adds size to play with our young small prospects, and while he may not win the corsi battles, that doesnt really matter as nobody expects the flames to contend for thhe playoffs… he can adequately play top six minutes in a rebuild period and bring a decent attitude, while the next generation develops and gets stronger. as for the defensemen swap… who cares… neither are getting much ice…

  • piscera.infada

    I’m not a fan of this trade per se, but I am in the some school of thought as the recent thread of comments above. The return is a wash, but we get rid of two guys who don’t want anything to do with this organization – especially Tangs.

    I’m not so sure we could have gotten anything better (of course, I’m not an NHL GM, so I actually have no idea what’s out there). It just seems to me that everyone likes to overvalue ALL of our ‘assets’. We always say, “I’d give anyone on the roster for picks, blue-chip prospects, so-and-so-slite-player, EXCEPT the three B’s, the #6 pick, or Gaudreau (unless it was a ridiculously lop-sided deal). Those assets probably wouldn’t net us any of the picks; high ilk prospects; or elite stars we need, as they all have their flaws or aren’t proven to be THAT special. So, why in the hell do we assume a J-Bo (who was an unmitigated disaster in Cowtown), a sharply declining Iginla, a whiny Tanguay, and a terrible Sarich are going to net us our next wave of elite talent?

    This was a stop-gap measure – no more, no less. Rebuilding takes longer than 2 months. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. We can all sit and comment here at FN – I just don’t advocate treating every move Feaster and Co. make this early as being either a heresy, or the second coming of Christ.

  • everton fc

    I think Jones may surprise us all. His production might exceed Tanguay’s. And he’ll backcheck.

    He’s a fast skater. Note his linemates in Colorado, though, when he put up his best numbers…

    Hopefully he’ll turn out to be another Glencross. Hopefully.

  • mk

    My question regarding Tanguay – he is a similar level player to a guy like Pominville (3 yrs older though) and on a better $ contract (not term). And that guy got his team a stack of stuff.

    Why were we not able to get SOMETHING better?

  • Jones at 4 million and O’B for 2mill for an extra year (comparatively to Tangs and Sarich). Even if it’s a lateral move, we lost.

    I suppose the reality of the situation is that we still need bodies and those two didn’t want to be here. Those are the only defensible reasons for the trade. I suppose buying out Tangs and signing a free agent wouldn’t have given us much more (probably less).

    I actually like Jones but not for that much money. Maybe 2.5

  • seve927

    Ok I guess we’ll just disagree. If a player has his power forward game going & is scoring 20+ goals & is fitting on my team, I would rather keep him. My problem with your statement is that you have written off this kid before he has even played 1 game for the Flames. I try to be not so narrow in my thinking.

    • seve927

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an opinion on a player based on his possession numbers. It’s just an opinion so it could change when i see how he fits in. Right now, he’s not the type of player i’d be looking for.