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

    The trade is underwhelming in the sense that the players we sent out are also underwhelming. Tanguay was never going to net anything significant. He and Sarich wanted out, now they’re gone. We’re younger, slightly tougher, slightly cheaper. That’s a win.

    How much cap room does Carolina have? I wonder if they’d take Gio and GlenX straight up for #5? Not sure even that would be enough for a potential future superstar.

    If not, maybe for Philly’s 1st? Pennsylvania is beautiful country, GlenX could have a nice ranch out there. Or is that too much?

    Then take DiPietro for NYI’s pick.

    That would leave all of our 1st rounders intact plus 2 more for a total of 5 picks in the 1st round.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • While this is pretty much a lateral move by the Flames, I like it. They get someone with size who can play a little. You can’t ask for more out of a third line guy. Also I don’t think it’s possible for O’brien to do LESS than Sarich, so that’s at least a wash.

    As much as I kind of hoped Tangs would have netted something more substantial (as part of a package) the reality is that he’s an oft injured, one dimensional, ageing player, and I think the Flames made out okay in this one.

  • please cancel acct

    Last year Feaster and company were all about skill/IQ/character/and how the size of the player would not sway them in the draft or with trades.

    This year after Hartely (MR black and white)arrived, the emphasis is now to get big and nasty.

    Feaster has become a poor version of Daryl.

    • everton fc

      Feaster’s a lawyer. He’ll say what he needs to say.

      Many times he lacks the intellectual honesty he so often sells to the press.

      Which is why I wish we had a different GM. Alas….

      • Eddie Shore

        He also said that if they’re looking at the highest ranked player available in a draft spot who is 5’8″ and the player ranked below him is 6’4″, they’ll still take the small guy because they consider him better.

        Methinks you’re reading too much into it.

  • flamesburn89

    Why is everyone saying the Flames got cheaper? The SOB and Sarich contracts are the same cap hit, and Jones is more expensive than Tanguay. Am I missing something?

    • ChinookArchYYC

      You are not, it was my mistake. I do believe we got better value in spite of paying a bit more. O’Brien should play more than Sarich did in the last 2 seasons, and I expect he’ll supplant Butler and Smith for the #6 slot. I really didn’t not like the idea of paying Sarich $2M to ride pine, so good riddance. That’s where an inexperienced rookie ought to be. Jones is 5 years younger and (in my estimation at least) has more gas in the tank, than Tanguay so another year at $4M is fine by me.

      This may have been the best trade available, it may not have been. At the end of the day, I don’t mind a fair trade, which is what this appears to be.

  • RexLibris

    I like how it only took about 70-some odd comments for O’Brien to become shortened to SOB.

    This is great.

    The Oilers had POS (Patrick O’Sullivan) and fans relished the cathartic nature of calling it out. There is some fan-comment gold waiting to happen here with O’Brien. Looking forward to it.

    On the Cammalleri front, if the Flames retained some salary I could see someone like New York taking him for a 2nd round pick. Although given the buyouts and Lundqvist contract negotiations I’d be very surprised to see how they could fit that all together.

    I’d be worried about Feaster pulling a Richards for Cammalleri deal. Not saying it’ll happen, but maybe the Rangers aren’t a good trading partner for the Flames right now.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I have heard a lot of talk about trading Cammy next. If we do, Jones then becomes our highest paid forward tied with Hudler (two third liners). Speaks volumes of the dearth of high end talent on this roster!

    Assuming Backlund and Brodie re-up for the same cap hit as a departing Kipper (combined). The Flames would be sitting at a cap hit of around 40 million – 4 million under the floor (assuming a Cammy trade brings back no salary, only futures). We can assume a Ramo contract eats a good portion of that up, but I have no problem running with a floor team next year. I think we should eat some of Cammy’s salary to net a greater return at the draft given our cap flexibility.

  • Burnward

    By moving Tanguay, it also opens up a top-six slot for either Hudler or SVEN. We have to put those guys In a position to succeed. Neither needs to be playing a shut-down role on the third line or, in SVEN’s case, languishing with plugs on the fourth.

  • Truculence

    Meh. This deal is purely lateral. We end up eating 500k more in cap space two out of three years, and 2.5 mil more next year.

    Jones is over-paid by at least 1 million and does not drive possession against top-line forwards. But then again, he shouldn`t be playing against top lines. Then again, Colorado didn`t have many options. Hopefully, against 2nd and 3rd line comp, he will fare better.

    • 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.

  • Truculence

    Moreover, you can`t keep trading vets for picks because there is such a thing as a cap floor. We`re most likely gonna suck next year, regardless, but you do have to have warm bodies that add up to 44 million in cap dollars.

  • everton fc

    I started out not thinking this trade was too much to worry about. Meh. Oh well, who cares… But the more I think about it…. WTF!

    If this trade is a glimpse into Feaster’s plan… well I don’t even know what to say.

    The thing that bothers me is the length of the contracts we got back. I couldn’t care less if Jones made $10mil and was a complete piece of trash, if his contract had 1 year left. But why do we want to move out assets for other long term boat anchor contracts.

    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.

    People are defending this as a ‘lateral move’. Can someone explain to me what the heck’s the point of lateral moves at ground zero of a rebuild? I suppose if Tanguay was considered a cancer on the team…. But like I said I’d rather move back than lateral. If we had got a prospect or pick in return, no matter how low it was you could justify this move as part of a logical rebuild. But what the F does a lateral move prove?

    If Feaster’s plan is to get out of this mess by a series of lateral moves where we ‘get younger’ or ‘get better’ in impossible to measure tiny increments we should be good in about 247 years.

  • 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.