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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  • Colin.S

    Jones is younger than Tanguay and not any better, he’s just more expensive, something the Avs don’t like(paying players). O’Brein isn’t any better or worse than Sarich. However both the guys we acquired are younger, and that’s a good thing, which means they shouldn’t decline as babdly as Sarich or Tangauy might.

    As well this trade doesn’t make us any better, which should keep us in line for another high draft pick.

    This is a WIN trade for the FLames, you move out old grumpy garbage and bring in all right players who can fill holes.

    • Colin.S

      My thoughts exactly.

      O’Brien has been a marginal fringe NHLer for some time now and it sounds like Jones is rather…crap.

      What is it with this organization trading guys to ‘help’ them out? Tanguay didn’t want to do a rebuild, why send him to Avs? They’re closer than the Flames but not really that close.

      Other than that, at least Jones is off the books soon. Guess you gotta have somebody playing.


  • Colin.S

    This trade doesn’t make sense either, but I think we “won” the trade. Jones is still young and though his corsi isn’t the greatest he has a chance to still be at least effective for a couple years while Tangauy unless fed Sedin like circumstances probably won’t be bouncing back any time soon.

    And ANYTHING is better than Sarich as this point.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if neither of these guys are Flames to start the season either. This may just have been the only team to trade for either one of our players(surprisingly both actually), and Feaster took the only deal to get Tangs/Sarich out of town without the buyout route.

    Either way, Jones maybe gets some cushy circumstances here due to our lack of real top 9 forwards after Camms gets traded and puts up some nice counting numbers for maybe a better trade next season.

  • RedMan

    Yessssssssssss! Don’t let the doir hit your sulky whiney butt on the way out Tanguay! Sweet trade! Bigger, younger and so glad they’re both gone! Now it’s cammi trade time!

  • Willi P

    Just a plain old hockey trade IMO. Doesn’t happen very often anymore. It’s fine by me. Maybe Iggy signs with the Avs now that Tangs is there to feed him the puck.

  • BurningSensation

    I’m a little surprised this deal isn’t being better received. If Feaster had moved out a 3rd line winger with 20 goal ability and a late 20’s bottom pair D-man on a reasonable contract for an over 30 winger with declining skills and attitude, and an over 30 D-man with marginal utility to actually play the game we’d be burning down what is left of the Saddledome.

    • Jeff Lebowski

      Nice try to skew things onto your side of the fence.

      Tanguay is a declining over 30 winger in terms of attitude and skills huh? Well, he still has alot more skill than Jones, and he’s still effective on the PP. Not to mention the fact he’s one of those rare guys that capable of sustaining a high shooting percentage. He has more “20 goal ability” than Jones has right now.

      Sarich is a over 30 dman who has serious issues, but O’Brien’s the exact same, just a few years younger. Not to mention the fact that he takes bonehead penalties. By the way, O’Briens “reasonable contract” has the EXACT SAME cap hit as Cory Sarich’s. It’s also has an extra year remaining on it, which is certainly not a good thing.

      • BurningSensation

        A. Jones is a 40-45pt winger who works the 2nd PP unit vs Tanguay who is now just a 50pt winger who needed primo zone draws and 1st unit PP time with a HOFer to put those numbers up.

        B. Sarich was a fringe NHL D-man for a terrible team (ours), while O’Brien is good enough to a fringe NHL D-man for better teams (Vcr etc.). and is younger.

        So, to recap, we got younger, cheaper and kept our skill level at worst the same and probably improved it.

        The only suggestion you have made so far is that Feaster should have made some sort of unicorn style trade using Tanguay for a top 4 pick.

        Ride that Unicorn Jeff, ride it hard.

        • For once, I agree 100% with you BS. I am actually pleased by this trade, and here’s why.

          I saw Jones play while I lived in Colorado and have always had a bit of a man crush on him. He seems tenacious, does what the coach asks (and seems happy to do so), and can chip in 40-50 pts (if healthy).

          He’s just never been healthy. I watched the game where he took a bad knee-on-knee and went down for a whole season. Definitely a 20-goal scorer if he gets reasonable zone starts and plays 3rd/4th liners. Might be good on a wing with Stemps/GlenX or Hudler+Knight. Hudler-Knight-Jones? I wouldn’t mind that as a 2nd/3rd line.

          Plus, he fills the RW hole that everyone whined about when Iginla was shipped out. Flames lack RW depth. Sure, he’s not Martin St. Louis, but he’ll do as a stop-gap measure while kids develop in their respective leagues.

          Shane O’Brien is meh. Everyone seems upset that his contract is a year longer than Sarich, but remember this: O’Brien is FIVE YEARS younger than Sarich. Also, it’s only this season and next, and if they want, the Flames can use a compliance buyout on him next summer. No loss whatsoever. He also fills a spot.

          Did the Flames get significantly better? No, hell no. They got rid of 2 malcontents, one of which is a whiny baby about Iginla and one of which told reporters he wanted a trade. We don’t need them here. Jones and O’Brien are a mild upgrade. Flames got younger, a bit faster, and are only paying $500K more. If this was a mistake, they buy both of them out next summer and wash their hands.

          Flames weren’t going to make the playoffs next season anyway. Use these guys to ice a roster while the kids develop. I’m mildly pleased.

        • please cancel acct

          First of all, I’m not the same guy who said Tanguay could get the Flames into the top 4, so get your head out of your butt.

          A. When is the last time David Jones put up 45 points? 2011, when he had a shooting percentage of 17.6 in 77 games. That same year, Jones played against middling competition and had a rel corsi of -3.6, which suggests he’s not a guy who’s going to outshoot the competition. He can get points if he gets PP time, and gets lucky. That’s slightly worse than Tanguay, who can pick up points because he’s a high percentage shooter, not a fluke.

          B. O’Brien was last a fringe NHLer for a good team in Vancouver in the 2010 season. He’ll now be playing in CGY in the 2014 season. 4 years older, 4 years slower, yadda yadda yadda. Not to mention the Flames replaced an old slow press box player with a younger, slow, player who will spend alot of time in the press box when he starts taking bonehead penalties and begins making huge defensive mistakes, cause hey, that’s his game. The guy had 60 PIMs this year in just 28 games, but hey, he can fight, so he must be valuable.

          At best, this is a lateral move. Completely MEH

          But to you, it’s another outstanding move by your pal Feaster. Keep drinking the kool aid Bsen, it’ll get you far.

          • BurningSensation

            Yeah sorry Joe, I got your lousy arguments mixed up with someone else’s. My bad.

            If by ‘lateral move’ you mean, got younger, grittier and cheaper, sure, it’s a ‘lateral’ move.

            This does highlight what I see as an ongoing problem of perception by Flames fans, that somehow our GM is supposed to move out garbage and get gold in return. I’m looking forward to Feaster hitting a home-run at the draft, or fleecing someone in a trade, but until then he should make as many of these ‘lateral’ moves that get us younger, cheaper, etc. as he can.

    • Scary Gary

      Agreed, we still need roster players to fill the line-up, we can’t do that this year with picks. That is unless you grab second rounders to stockpile for other teams RFAs, then I’m in favour.

  • everton fc

    I think any trade that happens will be picked apart where some love the deal & some don’t. Typical & not unexpected. Tanguay was a #@*%%@# sourpuss & mailed it in after. Really don’t care what we got for him & the bonus is that prior to last year, Jones had 20+ goal seasons back to back. Had injury issues last year & Colorado just out right sucked last year. He’s 6’2″ & he will hit way more freaking Oilers than Tanguay ever will. Sarich is a friggin warrior, only thing, he’s past the best before date. Obrien will give us the same but he at least has a week of shelf life left. This was a housekeeping trade, nothing more, nothing less. Tanguay or Sarich had minimal trade value out there. Let the trades begin!

  • everton fc

    I had no illusions that we could have used Tangs to move up in the draft. What surprises me is that we acquired a depth player at that salary for 3 more years.

    I guess we get younger and no we are not in any cap trouble… although taking these kinds of deals on eventually could lead us back to the cap situation we were in 2-3 years ago.

  • everton fc

    O’Brien will rack up 150+ PMs next season. He’ll protect any of the kids that make the squad. Jackman’s like this, but rarely wins a scrap. I don’t think anyone fears Jackman.

    We needed a guy like this. He’s the #6 d-man. If they move Butler, you may see O’Brien paired with Smith, 5/6. Not saying I like this, but apparently they know each other from the past.

    I’ve watched a few Youtube interviews with Jones. He’s a decent guy. Good character. Or so it seems.

    You move an aging player who doesn’t want to be here, and an aging defencemen who needed to go, and you bring in a decent 3rd line RW and a #6/7 d-man who’ll drop the mitts, but who can actually play a bit, unlike McGrattan.

    Jones is the asset here. Though his contact is a bit of an albatross!

  • I see a lot of people posting on TSN and elsewhere that ‘Avs got rid of that horrific Jones contract’. Let’s be clear, Jones only makes $500K more per season than Tanguay, and their contracts are the same length. And he’s 5 years younger than Tanguay.

    • everton fc

      I actually like O’Brien. But I also agree with this.

      O’Brien may not want to drop the mitts like a true goon. And he isn’t a true goon. But that’s what he’ll be asked to do here, sometimes.

      He’s a better scrapper than Jackman, most nights. Maybe! I don’t mind O’Brien and Jackman. But both are expansion team roster players. And we got pushed around a lot, last season. O’Brien will make sure other teams’ pests know he’s on the ice. I can live with that for one season. Of course, O’Brien will lose his share of scraps, like Jackman.

    • Parallex

      Not according to very many statistical categories…

      GP: Even
      Points: “Edge” O’Brien
      Average Time on Ice: Edge O’Brien
      Corsi On: Edge O’Brien
      Corsi Relative: Edge O’Brien
      Corsi Rel QoC: Edge O’Brien

      There is pretty much no question O’Brien is better then Sarich. Now saying that somene is better then Sarich is hardly high praise but it’s true.

      • everton fc

        Pretty good comeback! I see no difference, really. O’Brien will be the #6 d-man, along with Smith, me thinks.

        Would have been nice to get a 2nd or 3rd for Tanguay, though. Or a prospect. Let us hope Jones pockets 20+ goals, on the 3rd line. A lot to ask. Hardly likely.

  • BurningSensation

    @Kurt: “At this point we should be acquiring prospects, picks and ‘bridge players’ to sustain an NHL calibre team while the kids develop WITHOUT getting locked in to bad contracts.

    I’d have rather seen Tanguay moved out for a 2nd or 3rd rounder. Or anything. Or just bought out.”

    Crazy talk. Jones is a useful 3rd line guy who plays a position of weakness and wants to be a Flame. His contract $’s and term are (almost) irrelevant given we have cap space to burn.

    He is in short, exactly the ‘bridge’ player you say we should be looking for.

  • s_yav14

    Seems like a desperation move to get rid of Tangs. Otherwise I can’t see why they’d be doing this now. I know we wouldn’t get much for the guy, but maybe waiting it out through free agency etc. could have helped a bit…any chance there’s more to this?