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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  • 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?

    • 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.


  • Jones for Tanguay, whatever.

    O’Brien is basically a slightly worse version of Sarich at 29 so that’s not exactly gonna get me dancing in the streets.

    Younger (but not young) and bigger but not better. Little bit more cap and roughly same term.

    Pretty astonishingly mediocre – or, your prototypical Jay Feaster trade. Ya get what ya pay for.

  • icedawg_42

    I suppose i’m pretty Meh about the whole thing – the one point I raised about just buying Tangs out, the flip side of that, still need to ice a roster next year…so pretty lateral move overall I guess. Younger and “grittier” maybe?

  • RKD

    I’m not surprised they traded Tangs, that five year contract Feaster signed him to was a mistake in the first place. Cory Sarich asked for a trade like three times without any takers.

    I hated O’Brien when he was with Van city, he seemed to take the worse penalties at the worst times. I guess the Flames needed a shut-down guy now that Jay-Bo is gone and Gio was in over his head in the shortened season. At least O’Brien has nearly 500 games of NHL experience.

    The Flames do get size in Jones which they were missing with the departures of Jokinen and Moss. If Jones can be a 40 point guy like a couple years ago, then that’s pretty good and we can put him in front of the net.

    If the Flames do worse over the next two seasons, that would really set them up for Connor McDavid in a couple of years, except this team keeps winning instead of tanking to get that first pick.

  • icedawg_42

    I think an important point was the one Kent made concerning “dealing the malcontents” – I think that probably had a LOT to do with this. Sounds like Jones is completely onboard with being part of a rebuild.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    As I posted elsewhere, this trade doesn’t do anything for the rebuild.

    Tanguay (and other vets) should net prospects not bad NHLers.

    I was hoping Tanguay would be a piece to move up in the draft.


    • BurningSensation

      Yeah, obviously Florida and Colorado were just itching to pick up an aging skill winger with no visible defensive abilities or pulse for their top pick.

      Seriously, moving up using Tanguay was never going to happen.

      If there is good news out of this outside of the fact that both players we got back are better/younger than what we gave up, is that there is clearly no barrier to Feaster and Colorado making a trade because of the ROR signing.

      So there is still a chance we could move up to #1….

      • Jeff Lebowski

        Yeah because I said he would be the central piece in any trade to move up. However, just like Colorado saw value in picking him up another top 4 team might have liked his piece of a larger trade puzzle.

        Did I really have to explain that? C’mon man.

        • BurningSensation

          We’ve already had reports that Calgary offered up 3 first rnd picks to Colorado for their 1st overall. Do you honestly think that Tanguay would have magically tipped that exchange in our favour?

          Tanguay (and Cammalleri) are simply not pieces that will get us to move up in the draft – anymore than Gagner or Hemsky are going to move Edmonton into the top 4.

          • Jeff Lebowski

            I didn’t realize that Colorado compromises the entire top 4. Without knowing, what if Tanguay + Glencross + something else (prospect, pick) were used on Nashville or TB.

            The point that you fail to recognize is that Calgary use the veteran assets in a way that furthers the rebuild. Not to acquire slightly younger BAD NHLers.

            Why is that so hard for you to grasp?

          • BurningSensation

            I know this is hard for you, but Tanguay is not an asset in demand – by anyone, and certainly not by any team drafting in the top 4.

            How much of a non-entity was he? We were looking at buying him out. So yeah, keep the dream alive that somehow Tanguay was going to get us a top 4 pick.

            We got younger, cheaper, and more talented in this deal. Pure win. No downside.

          • Jeff Lebowski

            If you honestly think the Flames got substantially better with this deal, you are certainly chugging the koolaid. O’Brien’s contract is 2 years with a 2mil cap hit, the exact same contract Sarich was signed to. How well did that contract work out for Calgary… Oh right, it bit them in the ass since Sarich sat for most of the season. Just like O’Brien will.

            O’Brien will play some games next year, simply because of the fact that he was acquired to employ a ‘tougher’ team. If he’s around for the 2015 season, however, he’ll have a regular seat in the Flames press-box.

          • BurningSensation

            I never said ‘substantially better’, but they are better.

            We got a useful 3rd line winger who can score 20 goals, and a depth D-man. We traded a fading one-way winger and a healthy scratch to get them, and we got 9 years younger in the deal.

            So yeah, I think empirically speaking we got better.

          • flamesburn89

            How did the Flames get cheaper? Doesn’t Jones make more money than Tanguay, and aren’t the Sarich and SOB contracts the same, except O’Briens got the extra year?

            Is Murray Edwards gonna be paying less real dollars to Jones and SOB than he did to Tangs and Sarich?

          • Jeff Lebowski

            How do you have such inside information about who Calgary was going to buy out and what trade value Tanguay has? Are you Craig Conroy?

            Feaster said 10 days ago Calgary had no buy out plans. If Tanguay was not in demand, do you think Colorado made this deal to get Sarich?

            Why are you fixating on Tanguay (alone) netting a top 4 pick? Use him and any other assets to move up. If he doesn’t factor to move up then use him to get picks or prospects. Use him at the trade deadline..

            Again, the point you aren’t addressing is did this return help the rebuild? Calgary needs picks and prospects. Use your assets to obtain those things. If you want to get younger, really get younger. Calgary isn’t going to make the playoffs anytime soon, so why bother with a hockey trade?

            Why not get 22-23 yo prospects? Why not get draft picks? Why settle for a 3 goal, 28 year old guy who isn’t going to get better (and it’s laughable you think he’s a 40-45pt on Calgary).

          • BurningSensation

            Sure, Tanguay was ‘in demand’ but that doesn’t mean we were going to get anything better than Jones for him.

            Does this help our rebuild? Absolutely. Rebuilding a team requires several concurrent steps;

            – move out older players
            – move out players who don’t want to be part of a rebuild
            – move out bad contracts
            – create cap space
            – acquire younger assets and picks
            – retain some level of veteran presence to shield the kids/prospects, and to keep a losing culture at bay

            So, we ditched two older players (one of who can’t play) and got back useful vets who are collectively cheaper and inarguably grittier and harder to play against (we also likely added 10-15 goals at the expense of some 2nd assists). The two departing players were cancers who didn’t want to be here. The incoming guys will get a chance to play more.

            Would I have preferred Malkin? Yes. Or Couturier? For sure. Or even 2nd rnd picks? Absolutely. Is there any indication that any of those items were ever available?


          • Jeff Lebowski

            So Tanguay went from not in demand by anyone to yes he clearly was. Check.

            ‘Yes he was in demand but it doesn’t mean getting better than Jones’. You haven’t given anything concrete to support that. Just your own feelings.

            Useful vets? Hahaha.

            What are you even talking about with the Malkin, Couturier thing? Weird.

            You ask if any indication exists for arguments counter to yours to justify a position but then make claims without any indication/evidence (demand for Tanguay) yourself. Again, weird.


          • BurningSensation

            It isn’t clear that Colorado wanted Tanguay, or just hated Jones’ contract so much they were willing to take Tanguay in return.

            There may not be anything more than feelings to support the notion that Jones+SOB were the best Tanguay could bring back, but I haven’t heard any argument that there was anything else available that was better. Sure I would love a top end pic, a #1 center, or even free beer for the rest of my life, but that doesn’t mean they were available in trade.

            Jones and SOB fall into the category of ‘useful vets’. They won’t drive possession like Crosby, but they fill useful roles on the team. Somehow this is amusing to you?

            My point with Malkin and Couturier, etc. is that while we might wish we could have dealt for them, they were not available.

            So, what exactly is your contention regarding the Tanguay trade? That it didn’t make us younger? Didn’t bring back players who fill useful roles? Or is it just whining that your unicorn hasn’t arrived yet?

          • Jeff Lebowski

            The contention is that the return was not conducive to the stated goal of rebuilding. Calgary should be trying to acquire draft picks and prospects not useless players in hockey deals.

            The problem that arose came in discussing this with you. The way you argue is weird-there is no logic to follow, you make statements like ‘was not in demand by anyone- then yes he was in demand etc.

            Again, the Malkin thing is weird perhaps you again confused a post from someone else to me. I’ve never mentioned those guys. You aren’t one for attention to details I suppose.

            Anyway I could go on but it’s like arguing with my girlfriend-no sense or rational/logical consistency in your comments .

          • BurningSensation

            “The contention is that the return was not conducive to the stated goal of rebuilding. Calgary should be trying to acquire draft picks and prospects not useless players in hockey deals.”

            Rebuilding teams need to get younger, right? We just dropped 9 years.

            Rebuilding teams want players with better underlying stats than those they give up, right? Both of the players we received have better advanced stats than those we gave up.

            Rebuilding teams need useful vets who can actually play the game, right? We just landed a 2 for 1 deal in that regard (Sarich is not a useful vet).

            Yes, I would have preferred a golden prospect, or draft pick (or Malkin, etc.) for Tanguay, but, and this is the key, there is ZERO evidence that any of those things were ever on offer for Tanguay.

            So, ‘yes’, this helps our rebuild.

            Do I need to use smaller words for you?

          • Truculence

            Jeff let it go. Sarich & Tanguay would not have been good for our rebuild. They both wanted out. Jones & SOB well be able to play next year & they both will have the opportunity to prove something with a new team.
            There was no rainbow deal we passed on for Tanguay. He failed miserably in Montreal & Tampa before he played for next to nothing in a prove it 1 year deal back in Calgary. There was no value in Tanguay out there, no one wanted a 3.5 mill cap hit for 3 more years on a declining soft but talented forward. Zippo. Sarich couldn’t even be moved for a 5th rounder at the trade deadline, I think Colorado had to eat him for us to take the deal. Jones was the target. Give the kid a chance. He scored 20+ goals the previous 2 seasons. Give him a chance. You can bitch about him next March if he craps the bed.

          • Truculence

            haha I think your girlfriend probably feels that way about arguing with you. You can’t rebuild a team if you have to forfeit all your games because you can’t ice a minimum sized team. hell we could trade everybody over 27 for picks this year, that would be great right? We got significantly younger, maybe not as much skill as tanguay. In reality though jones will probably play better than tanguay because he wants to be here, alex did not. It was obvious at the end of the year he didn’t give a crap about being on the ice. Pretty tough to trade a guy whose skill is fading, sulks big time and doesn’t play.

            So the trade is a win so go sulk somewhere mr. ten thousand picks/prospects for tanguay++++++++ and no roster players worth spit to put on the ice so we have a losing culture like edmonton.

      • SmellOfVictory

        Didn’t even have to be a move-up scenario. I’d have liked even a 2nd rounder or something. Just not freaking Jones, who is one of the most useless forwards the Avs have.

  • Flames will still need guys to actually play this season. Jones and O’Brien are capable, if undistinguished, NHLers. Helps them ice a team is all it really comes down to. In the meantime, the club can market the fact they got bigger and younger.

  • Also, a reason I didn’t mention Jones’ lousy output this season is he had terrible percentages and tough circumstances. He’s at least better than his 2012-13 numbers suggest. His ceiling is probably a 2nd/3rd liner who doesn’t get beat up and can score about 40-45 points.

  • RKD

    Roger Millions is reporting the NYR are interested in Cammy. Hope the return is better than this.

    There are a lot of whispers Carolina is willing to trade their first round pick. I wonder if the Flames would trade one of Gio/GlenX to get Carolina’s pick then take both Lindholm and Monahan or just stay put take one and try to slot in Corban Knight as their 2nd line center.

    • everton fc

      This is where you scoop Dorsett, as part of a package.

      God help us if they somehow get saddled with Richards.

      I still don’t get why everyone’s so high on Knight.

        • everton fc

          Got it.

          I think it was decent of Feaster to let Tanguay finish his career in Colorado. Classy move. And I don’t like Feaster as our GM. But he does seem to have this wierd loyalty to players. Like O’Brien.

          Which makes me fear we’ll have Lecavlier, Richards, and others, on the roster come autumn.

          O’Brien can drop the mitts. That’s why he’s here. Better scrapper than Sarich. I actually like O’Brien. As a 5/6 option. (Please move Butler!!)

          As for Jones. $4mm/season. Madness. But he did have back-to-back 20 goal seasons, and is bigger than Stempniak. But he seems to have had injury issues in 3 of the past 5 seasons. He does seem like a decent guy. Real family guy. Lots of character. He’s also big. And fast. Here’s hoping Stempniak can go back home to NY State, for if Jones is slated for RW 3rd line, Stempniak’s history. Stemp’s a decent guy and a good role player. Perhaps he and Cammy going to NYC?? And we end up with Richards… And Dorsett! (Couldn’t resist!)

          Could Cammy capture a first round pick?

          • Colin.S

            Stempniak is a legitimate top 6 forward and is all of one year older than Jones. Jones in no way replaces Stempniak or makes him expendable.

            Cammalleri might net a late first with the right trade partner, or if the Flames eat some of his cap hit.

          • everton fc

            I agree. I prefer Stempniak. Always supported Stempniak here.

            Just speaking to the trade. I think Jones will replace Stempniak. Seeing Stempniak move up the 2nd line w/Glencross, I am okay with this. We may not make the playoffs with this lineup, but we’ll at least be able to compete some evenings.

  • mk

    In a way, I’m happy that most recent trades haven’t been disasters, but they’re all completely…sub-par. Just a little less than I would deem fair value; not enough to hate on, but not enough to be satisfied with.

    Oh well – best of luck to Tangs and Sarich. Maybe Tangs will finish his career in Denver like he started.

  • 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.

  • mkd087

    Flames win the trade. Combine to get 9 years younger and Tangs is washed up. A pick would of been nice but someone has to put on the skates and follow the all knowing, all powerful, all super.. Corban Knight

    Heres to a great weekend. Feaster and co. have my trust at the draft table so far

  • Lordmork

    Underwhelming return, but I think we were all hoping our veterans would be worth more than this. Getting a bit bigger and a bit younger is good, but jettisoning players who won’t commit to a rebuild has to be at the top of the agenda. I’d rather ice a team that’s bad but that plays hard & fights to win over a skilled team that doesn’t care if we win or lose.

  • 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!

  • I am with Ken on being ‘meh’ on the trade. But fans should be ‘meh’ on most trades if both sides did okay for themselves.

    O’Brien isn’t anything special. But he is an upgrade on Sarich and only gets paid 2-million.

    Jones is a decent 3-line RW option who gives you top 6 depth. Plays both wings. Has some size. Things the Flames needs. Also opens up Stempniak getting moved (rumored). He is a marginal downgrade on Tanguay in terms of points. But he is a better 5v5 option, is younger, and brings some size/versatility.

    There is nothing wrong with this trade. It is an average Feaster move. Not dreadful. Not a ‘knock it out of the park’ trade. It is fine. And given who we had to trade fine isn’t bad IMO.

    • Colin.S

      Didn’t O’Brien have a half decent Corsi last year, all be it against probably some terrible competition. And if he can be positive on the 5/6 unit that’s all that is needed, definitely don’t expect him to be higher than the 3rd pairing.

      • please cancel acct

        yes, but sarich did as well. they both played easy comp and with partners that drive play. basically the only difference between the two is that sob is a little younger and has an extra year on his contract.

    • Parallex

      Actually underlaying numbers wise the team has improved, the guys we picked up have better numbers then the guys we shipped out. If you think they’re both crap then they’re crap of the less stinky variety then what was here.

      I’m fine with the trade (more indifferent actually) I think it makes the team better but not significantly so.

      • please cancel acct

        the difference in adjusted corsi coming in compared to going out is about 2 shot attempts per 60 minutes more I think. it’s a negligible amount.

  • 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.

  • RexLibris

    Looking over Jones’ numbers at Behind the Net he looks like a 3rd line LW option at best.

    The trade is a win for the Flames by a hair, but it could be a loss if Hartley deploys them improperly.

    O’Brien shouldn’t play higher than 3rd pairing and Jones needs to stick to the PK and 3rd or 4th line.

    He was playing on a more talented team than the Flames and struggled, what his season ahead holds depends greatly on how his skill set is interpreted by Flames coaching and management.

    That being said, when one considers that both Tanguay and Sarich have been mentioned by fans as buyout options, I think this is something of a modest win for Feaster.

  • 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.