Russell, Stajan, and Jones – Scratched

With the state of the Calgary Flames season seemingly on a bubble it’s shocking to say the least when you see several names who could be on the move scratched for this afternoon’s game. Prior to puck drop Kris Russell, Matt Stajan, and David Jones all were announced as scratches.

With Russell being the most interesting of the three scratched, it’s impossible to not question whether or not this is a premeditated decision to keep them healthy or close to; regardless of the Flames tweeting out that they were day-to-day with injuries.

DAVID JONES

Jones left the game on Friday against the Sharks after just 3:44 played from an apparent lower-body injury. The man who is often made of glass is an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season. Given he is likely gone at the end of the season it would be critical that if the opportunity to move Jones before or at the deadline to keep him as close to healthy as possible.

Jones is on the final year of his $16M contract he signed back in 2012 as a member of the Avalanche. Earlier this season Jones missed a game with a lower-body injury.

MATT STAJAN

The veteran centre whose contract is well above the results he creates now has $3.125M coming to him until the end of 2017/18. With nine points on the season (four goals) and primarily seeing usage on the penalty kill he may be sought after for a team looking for centre depth moving forward. 

From what was observed, Stajan’s game against the Coyotes was less than stellar with a measly 7:25 played and four PIMs. He was also victimized to some degree against Arizona forward Martin Hanzal. Of which could be a result of today’s scratch.

KRIS RUSSELL

He’s an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season who is seeking big money. The suspension to Dennis Wideman dampens to varying degrees of a trade happening any time soon too. If anything is nagging him and keeps out any longer than a few games there may be some diminishment on his trade value.

Russell also missed two games between December 4th to the 12th with an upper-body injury. His 15 points are fifth in defensemen scoring for the season too.

Hopefully the injuries are minor and nothing that hinders the team any more than the on-ice results of the trio lately. If the Flames are sellers and they should be, all three are worth trying to get something back on. All three off the books would make the long-term situation with the salary cap even better with pending contracts for Monahan and Gaudreau are on the horizon.

  • wot96

    Jones hurt in last game, Stajan puck in face horrible check in the back could be legitimate, and Russell well that could be interesting. It would be great if it was an impending deal. Only time will tell.

  • KiLLKiND

    Why the hell wouldn’t he give Nak a game when Brodie was hurt and Russell was also injured? This is awful treatment of our prospects specifically our defense and goalies. Yes Grant deserves a chance but I think a trade is coming and he will get a chance.

    I think Hartley thinks having experience on the backend more important than up front. This is logical but you need to give all prospects a chance. If I was a FA defense or goalie I wouldn’t come anywhere near Calgary.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Do you believe in life after Russell after Russell? Nice look today at how the Flames will be without Russell should he be dealt.

    So you want to move Hudler and have who play RW on the top line? Seems to me that come next season, the team that can benefit the most from having a happy and healthy Hudler are the flaming reds. Think twice or even three times before trading him.

      • RealMcHockeyReturns

        Everybody hates on Hudler who has chemistry (not easy to find) with 2 top Flames, versatile, and NOT going to get over $5M because of his size so Flames would be wrong to move him before getting rid of Jones and Colborne first

        • RealMcHockeyReturns

          I like Hudler a lot as well. It will be sad to see him go.

          But based on recent articles on this site I don’t know if we could easily fit $5 M per year (for likely diminishing returns, at that). Our cap problems need to be fixed first.

          See: Well over $3 M for 4th line center, well over $6 M for not-good 5-6 D, a Wideman who comes in well over $5 M.

          • MonsterPod

            Mgmt looked at Hudler’s foot speed and age and decided to give Frolik a lot of money instead. The writing is on the wall.

            Love Jiri and glad Feaster brought both him and Wideman in. But that was when Jarome and Jbow were still here. These guys were fine signings but age alone dictates they have to go, Hudler now, Wides next year.

            Clearly, we are not contending anytime soon. This is a rebuild, and we should only be overpaying one aging vet as we go forward — Gio is our man. We can afford to carry Gio when he’s our #4 in 4 years, but teams falter when they have too many guys in that situation — read: LA in 4 years.