RANDY JONES WAIVES GOODBYE TO FLYERS
The Los Angeles Kings used their high waiver priority today to claim defenseman Randy Jones from the Philadelphia Flyers. In 3 days the waiver priority is reshuffled, which will put the Kings as one of the last teams eligible to claim another team’s castaway.
Jones, just 28, has been much maligned by cap conscious Flyer fans for the better part of a year now, most likely because of his $2.75 million price tag. Jones was actually on re-entry waivers, so the Kings are only on the hook for half of Jones’ contract, which expires at the end of this season.
I admit, I have watched Jones play maybe 30 total minutes of live hockey, none of it memorable. He will most likely be sitting in the press box, a $1.375 million insurance policy.
Jones broke into the league with the Flyers during the 2003-2004 season, playing 5 games. Over the next 4 years, Jones played 212 games for the Flyers, registering 13 goals and 56 assists for 59 points. His best season was 2007-2008, probably not coincidentally while playing under Terry Murray as a defensive coach. That season Jones played 71 games (his highest single season total), and put up 5 goals and 26 assists, good for almost half his career points. He was also a +8 that season (he is a career -3), and registered 58 PIM (134 career PIM). He has also played in 22 playoff games, scoring 3 assists and notching a +7 with just 4 PIM. Here is his player page at NHL.com
While Jones is not the mean beast that Denis Gauthier was, he is best known for something you would expect from Gauthier. Jones plastered Patrice Bergeron into concussion-land back in 2007. You might remember the hit.
So the question really is, what the hell do the Kings want with him?
Well, Dean Lombardi had talked about wanting to add a veteran defenseman over the summer. With 217 career games, Jones is no OD, but he does have enough experience to squeeze into the vet suit. Terry Murray is already familiar with Jones, and Jones is already familiar with watching an NHL game from on high, though he will have to get used to a new press box. I wonder whether some players prefer being on an NHL squad but not dressing, or dressing nightly for an AHL team. Depends on the man I guess. I have no idea what kind of man Jones is, but from that mugshot of his, I’m getting a “F*** it” vibe from him.
In light of this claim, rookie Alec Martinez has been placed on injured reserve. Poor kid. His chance at subbing in is all but lost now. Although, with Thomas Hickey playing poor enough recently to watch a game from the press box himself, perhaps Martinez will come in handy in Manchester once he is healthy.
So, welcome Randy Jones. May your days as a King be useful and well appreciated.