Flames Waive Blair Jones - UPDATE, Flames demote Irving as well

Kent Wilson
February 16 2013 11:02AM

As per Darren Dreger today, the Flames have waived fourth line center Blair Jones, likely with the intention of sending him to the minors. 

This is a fairly surprising move. Jones is one of only two natural, NHL-ready centers currrently on the active roster (Stajan is the other). And while he hasn't put up any points, the former Lightning has been capable enough in a support role. His on-ice SH% of 2.27% probably makes him seem worse than he is, but then the Flames also have Blake Comeau who is at 3.03% but also a team worst -19.20 corsi/60 (Jones is even with a 45% zone start). 

This sort of suggests Sven Baertschi is ready to return, but then I don't know why they'd chose to demote Jones in response. Steve Begin (frequent healthy scratch) and the aforementioned Blake Comeau (who has been simply bad) are more natural candidates to sit on the waiver wire. Heck, Baertschi himself would be more suited to a plane ride to Abbotesford, either for a conditioning stint or because he was only playing 5 minutes a night when he was in the line-up anyways.

The other possibility is this is some sort of paper transaction, enacted due to some vague rule in the CBA. Even then, I don't know why it would be Blair Jones the team would choose to expose and not, you know, 34-year old free agent, no one will pick him up anyways, Steve Begin.

Anyways, let's see how this plays out. 

UPDATE - Flames announce Leland Irving has been re-assigned to Abbotsford today with Danny Taylor being recalled in his place. As predicted, last night pretty much killed any hopes Irving had of being an NHL goalie here in Calgary.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 RKD
February 16 2013, 11:25AM
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I though Blair was a character guy, blocked shots, killed penalties and was pretty effective in his role.

Comeau is atrocious, his 24 goal season will never be matched or even come close to that.

Hope Baertschi can give the Flames some spark after that St. Louis beatdown.

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#2 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 11:27AM
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I pointed this out in the post game thread but will do so here for people not reading the comments on post game.

They did this to free up a contract, simple as that, Jones WILL get picked up, don't know why they couldn't trade him..... They are at 49 contracts, 5, yes FIVE of those are goalie deals(Kipper, Irvine, MacDonald, Taylor and Orito), what a freaking mess of goalie deals. My guess is that there is a deal in the works, some sort of trade where we trade 1 for 2 or something of that sort.

Other than free up a contract on the 50 man list this makes NO sense period, Comeau is bad, Begin is bad, why wave a NATURAL center, who last night won 70%+ of his faceoffs.

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#3 Bezer
February 16 2013, 11:32AM
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I've put a lot of faith in the Flames brass because they've done some really good things thus far. But this one throws me for a loop.. I really like Jones I think he brings a tonne of energy and as Kent says there are way better candidates for demotion.

But the most concerning to me is BookofLoob being put on suicide watch. Stay strong BoL.

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#4 SmellOfVictory
February 16 2013, 11:37AM
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If they needed contract space maybe they shouldn't have frigging picked up Old MacDonald off waivers.

See ya, Jones. You were my favourite 4th liner.

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#5 Baalzamon
February 16 2013, 11:42AM
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...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYKbhJotPHs

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#6 Boxersam
February 16 2013, 11:44AM
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Oilers claimed Jones off waivers.

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#7 backburner
February 16 2013, 11:45AM
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That's Crazy... nothing wrong with Jones, I hope to God there is some deal in the works for another Center... ROR or Weiss...

Why not Stajan? or Comeau?

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#8 backburner
February 16 2013, 11:47AM
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Boxersam wrote:

Oilers claimed Jones off waivers.

That's gonna come back to haunt them!!

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#9 loudogYYC
February 16 2013, 11:47AM
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Man this news put me in a foul mood, Jones is no point producer but he plays his role well. I'm starting to really doubt management with the calls they've made lately.

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#10 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 11:47AM
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Boxersam wrote:

Oilers claimed Jones off waivers.

There are 9 teams ahead of the Oilers in Waiver priority, and I could see 3-4 of those teams taking him before the Oil get him, well I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope the Oil don't get him, insult meet injury.

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#11 RexLibris
February 16 2013, 11:50AM
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Agreed. This does seem like a very peculiar move. I wonder if they have some sort of deal in place that would require more contract room and they are hoping that Jones gets picked up?

Waiving Begin would have been a better move, in my opinion. The Flames would appear to need Jones' versatility and effort on most nights.

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#12 Sincity1976
February 16 2013, 11:56AM
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@Colin.S

I agree that is likely the reason. They have reasons for a lot of things. They picked up MacDonald because they don't trust Irving or Taylor and wanted more depth. They are waiving Jones to make room (possibly for Baertschi) and possibly to free up a contract. They refuse to trade Iginla because ownership wants him to retire a Flame. Etc.

They always have a reason. But it doesn't make things make anymore sense.

If they aren't comfortable at 49-contracts then they didn't have the luxury of picking up Begin or MacDonald. If they need to make roster space there are better candidates for a demotion.

Waiving Jones makes zero sense. He is one of our only natural centre's left on the roster. He is one of the few players that can play big and still play hockey. He is good on the face offs. He is strong defensively. And he generates chances from the fourth line. Plus, he is a 26-year old on a great contract.

It isn't a big enough move to get all worked up about. But the little trust I held for this management group is slipping away as they desperately cling to false strands of hope.

The Flames are a middle age man signing up for MMA and skydiving lessons because they refuse to admit reality. A Phaneuf/Stajan/Hagman/Kotalik/Jokinen/Staios/White desperation move can't be too far behind.

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#13 Caleb
February 16 2013, 12:00PM
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There better be a trade in place. Comeau is practicing on a line with Iginla and Glencross. Comeau has only won 32 faceoffs in the last 85 games.

Must be prospects involved as well. who aren't currently under contract. I would say, generally when you give up 1 player to get back 2, you aren't getting the best player in the deal. Also if this player, who they should be getting, is playing with Iginla and Glencross then it better be a legit top 6.

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#14 backburner
February 16 2013, 12:11PM
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This might be a little off topic, but I am hearing that J Bo is being shopped.. is there any merit to those rumors? I could see Sens, Blues, Philly or Kings being interested...

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#15 Kevin R
February 16 2013, 12:14PM
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This just ticks me off. I dont know what is going on with this team anymore or what direction they are trying to go. All the questionable moves have been little moves, Sarich, Babchuk, Macdonald, Begin. But they are starting to add up to royally burn my butt. We have no sandpaper on this team, & the ones we do have are unfortunately 4th line, Jones Jackman type players. We have so many soft players Royale may need to come up with a Flame Brand toilet paper.

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#16 Kevin R
February 16 2013, 12:20PM
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backburner wrote:

This might be a little off topic, but I am hearing that J Bo is being shopped.. is there any merit to those rumors? I could see Sens, Blues, Philly or Kings being interested...

If they arent, then they should be. He's been playing better than he has in the last 2-3 years. Brodie has stepped up huge & Wideman should be the only offensive dman in your top 4 rotation. At 6.68mill, too much $$ for the same type of dman we get from Brodie/Wideman. We need a young Regehr type playing with Gio. Nasty hitting blueliner that has world class skills. Interesting that Buffalo have been sour on Tyler Myers(until last night anyway), I wonder if he could be had & if JBO is moved, would be the perfect fit in our top4 rotation.

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#17 Veggie Dog
February 16 2013, 12:20PM
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I have been visiting this site for a long time, but I just signed up to say how ticked I am at this. There better be something in the works that makes this make sense.

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#18 Scary Gary
February 16 2013, 12:24PM
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I'm upset. Obviously there's something bigger at work here but I'm a big fan of Jones.

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#19 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 12:27PM
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I just have a fear that if its a trade it's going to be a VERY bad trade to try and win this year, most likely involving this years first, which as we stand would be a VERY VERY high pick.

At this point, there isn't ANYTHING the Flames are going to do to save the season, even with a fully healthy lineup this team was almost destined to a top 5 pick, or at best, just miss the playoffs......again.

I just don't get it, Jones is the better player, but still we added Begin, wasting more contract space. MacDonald isn't a good goalie, but we never have addressed our goalie situation in the last 3-4 years so management thought to waste another spot. There are a lot of wasted contracts, **COUGH** KOLANOS **COUGH** on the Flames, and now it costs us an actual NHL player, a guy who held his own for the role he has, not many guys on our lineup can say that.

Theres been things this management group has done that has been likeable, passing on Jokinen again, trading Regehr, drafting guys like Baertschi and Gaudreau, but then they bring out moves like this that just scream they are making it up as they go and are just getting lucky for the most part.

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#20 jeremywilhelm
February 16 2013, 12:27PM
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Blair Jones waived. Comeau centering a line. The world is topsy turvy and I'm hung over.

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#21 Ryan Pike
February 16 2013, 12:38PM
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Book of Loob is on suicide watch.

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#22 Potlicker
February 16 2013, 12:42PM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

Book of Loob is on suicide watch.

And an asteroid is coming our way!

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#23 Franko J
February 16 2013, 12:49PM
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Good luck Jones, hopefully you are picked up by a team and organization that believes in the value of meritocracy. Another head shaker from the Flames. Moves likes this just baffle me. No wonder this team is going nowhere but down.

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#24 Jibmeister
February 16 2013, 12:58PM
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If there isn't a trade in the works, then this move pisses me right off.

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#25 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 01:00PM
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Jibmeister wrote:

If there isn't a trade in the works, then this move pisses me right off.

Careful what you wish for, the trade might piss you off even more.....

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#26 mattyc
February 16 2013, 01:03PM
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From Flames website: - Comeau centering Iginla and Glencross on the "first line" - MacDonald starts - Baertschi won't play on the road trip

... so Jones is waived so Comeau can move up the rotation and Begin can take his spot?

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#27 Baalzamon
February 16 2013, 01:09PM
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A tiny ray of hope is that Dregor is the only source anywhere reporting this.

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#28 RexLibris
February 16 2013, 01:20PM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

I have been visiting this site for a long time, but I just signed up to say how ticked I am at this. There better be something in the works that makes this make sense.

Welcome to the conversation!

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#29 RexLibris
February 16 2013, 01:22PM
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Scary Gary wrote:

I'm upset. Obviously there's something bigger at work here but I'm a big fan of Jones.

Interesting thought, but given how close the teams are, I don't see anything happening. The one and only trade that has ever happened was when the two were going in opposite directions and ended up being a pretty minor deal (conditional 3rd).

But the question has been posed on ON, would Jones be an improvement over Vande Velde? Not sure.

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#30 Chris Fairfield
February 16 2013, 01:28PM
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Longtime Flames fan, 1st post on Flamesnation, new to the site. This move just leaves me shaking my head. Blair Jones is dynamite with his defensive zone faceoffs, a center, responsible with his defensive coverage, full of energy on every shift, and they keep Blake Comeau? Going back to last year, Blake Comeau missed how many open nets? Failed on his defensive coverage, and is still failing. This had better be a precursor to a lights out trade, or like many of the other posts on here, will further piss me off. Given J-Bo's recent play, why would they be shopping him? Any possible trade partners?

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#32 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 01:30PM
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Irving is officially done in Calgary, LOL LULZ LULZY, so they are going with MacDonald with Taylor backing him up, THIS TEAM NEEDS TO PULL ITS HEAD OUT IT'S Ass!

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#33 FireOnIce
February 16 2013, 01:37PM
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So, the Irving experiment is finally in its twilight hours. Hope we get something even half-decent for him (if traded and not just left to rot in the AHL).

Can't understand the waiving of Jones. I was appalled when they brought in Begin on a PTO and then actually signed him. My horror just grows daily and with each move this administration makes.

McDonald is a crappy goalie. Pure and simple. Detroit didn't want him, TO didn't want him, why would we? WHY DID WE TARGET HIM?! They could've signed Peter Budaj for less, earlier, and gotten the same basic results. Or Ray Emery. Or JS Giguere.

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#34 redricardo
February 16 2013, 01:53PM
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This is an odd day to be a Flames fan. It's easier to accept losses if you know the direction your team is going. This has been weird. Not so much because I think Irving or Jones are going to make or break this team, but because over the last week or so we're suddenly aggressively making changes with our fringe players.

Nobody that we've acquired or released recently is going to be the solution or the problem. If management has decided to make changes, then make changes. Be aggressive with moving forward. Re-Adjusting spare parts doesn't count for much, and just leaves fans confused. "Okay, we're rebuilding? We're going for it? A couple days ago Irving had proved himself, now he's gone? Jones is a dependable centre and first out for a shoot out. No, now he's gone? What's going on?"

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#35 Potlicker
February 16 2013, 01:57PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Word is Irving has been re-assigned to Abbotsford today as well. March of the fringe players!

Sooooooo..... is Taylor being called up or who is going to back up Macdonald, the Easter Bunny?

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#36 Chris Fairfield
February 16 2013, 02:09PM
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Any word if Baertschi has been activated off of IR? They had the choice of picking Begin or Winchester as both were PTO's, they should have kept Winchester and sent Begin a'packin. Begin should logically be next?... right??

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#37 bookofloob
February 16 2013, 02:14PM
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/weeps openly

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#38 Chris Fairfield
February 16 2013, 02:15PM
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Get rid of a 4th line center and promote Comeau as a backup plan??? WTF

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#39 Bean-counting cowboy
February 16 2013, 02:27PM
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This makes the Begin signing look mind boggling even moreso. After the St Louis loss and all this tinkering with fringe players I'm about to lose my mind and stop watching games all together (thank goodnes I didn't watch last night)

Does ownerhsip not see that nearly every team plays their backup against us?

Do they not see every media outlet remotely connected to the NHL picking the Flames to suck.

Do they not see the odds makers putting our chances at the lowest to win the Stanley cup?

Do they not see Iggy is no longer 25. Let him win his friggin cup already!

I'm at the point of near exasperation with the grasping at straws, quick fixes, hole plugging crap. The goal is Stanley not friggin playoffs.

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#40 Derzie
February 16 2013, 02:33PM
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Listen it's crystal clear that Begin is a buddy of Hartley. He has no business on this team. Nor does Comeau. Please, please don't turn out to be a french thing. I would be sick if moves are made for anything other than hockey reasons. Blair Jones out before those guys? No one agrees with that.

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#41 negrilcowboy
February 16 2013, 02:36PM
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Whats next uncle feasster ya goin to sign ric wamsley or shaky demour next. waive begin,comeau and that flat tire nemisz while you are on your bipolar goaltenderer quest.

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#42 Kevin R
February 16 2013, 02:36PM
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Chris Fairfield wrote:

Longtime Flames fan, 1st post on Flamesnation, new to the site. This move just leaves me shaking my head. Blair Jones is dynamite with his defensive zone faceoffs, a center, responsible with his defensive coverage, full of energy on every shift, and they keep Blake Comeau? Going back to last year, Blake Comeau missed how many open nets? Failed on his defensive coverage, and is still failing. This had better be a precursor to a lights out trade, or like many of the other posts on here, will further piss me off. Given J-Bo's recent play, why would they be shopping him? Any possible trade partners?

Well, JBO is playing as well as has for the past 2-3 years so his value is higher. Couple that with teams like Ottawa & Detroit that are desperate for high end D & the price could be pretty attractive. We arent winning with JBO & the emergence of Brodie & Wideman being great transitional offensive dmen, JBO is expensive & redundent. I would love to see the Flames move JBO & Irving to Ottawa for Bishop, 2013 1st & another highend prospect. They have many high end prospects to pick from.

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#43 Chris Fairfield
February 16 2013, 02:41PM
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Bean-counting cowboy wrote:

This makes the Begin signing look mind boggling even moreso. After the St Louis loss and all this tinkering with fringe players I'm about to lose my mind and stop watching games all together (thank goodnes I didn't watch last night)

Does ownerhsip not see that nearly every team plays their backup against us?

Do they not see every media outlet remotely connected to the NHL picking the Flames to suck.

Do they not see the odds makers putting our chances at the lowest to win the Stanley cup?

Do they not see Iggy is no longer 25. Let him win his friggin cup already!

I'm at the point of near exasperation with the grasping at straws, quick fixes, hole plugging crap. The goal is Stanley not friggin playoffs.

Amen to that!

These moves are all lateral and backwards!! The quote that I just I read about Comeau (per Bob Hartley) on CalgaryFlames.com reads as follows:

What you see is what you get, we’re going to try Coms at center,” Hartley said. “We have a shortage at center, plain and simple. He’s a hard worker. We’re trying to bring grit and passion to our lineup."

???????????????????????????????????????????

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#44 Chris Fairfield
February 16 2013, 02:49PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Well, JBO is playing as well as has for the past 2-3 years so his value is higher. Couple that with teams like Ottawa & Detroit that are desperate for high end D & the price could be pretty attractive. We arent winning with JBO & the emergence of Brodie & Wideman being great transitional offensive dmen, JBO is expensive & redundent. I would love to see the Flames move JBO & Irving to Ottawa for Bishop, 2013 1st & another highend prospect. They have many high end prospects to pick from.

I see what you mean, and I agree it does make sense for both teams, considering the recent injury to Karlsson and the Flames goaltending futility (sans Kipper), but it makes too much logical and beneficial sense for the Flames brass to do or even attempt. Any possibility of going after O'Reilly without sacrificing Gaudreau?

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#45 schevvy
February 16 2013, 03:14PM
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WTH is this? A joke? Are they messing with us?? This move makes 0.0% of sense. Leading faceoffman and an ACTUAL NHL PLAYER, and they waive him. Are they planning on offer sheeting O'Reilly? That's the ONLY WAY this makes a lick of sense. Awful.

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#46 the forgotten man
February 16 2013, 03:39PM
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Wow...heard that Blair Jones is going on waivers, Calgary should claim him.

On another note, does Comeau lubricate Feasters back fat for him or polish Kings head on the weekends??

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#47 dick
February 16 2013, 03:40PM
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I have yet to see anything on the Flames website or any where else for that matter confirming the waiving of Jones. Has any one seen any thing official other than this supposed report from Dreger? On the surface this move makes no sense.

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#48 negrilcowboy
February 16 2013, 03:44PM
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schevvy wrote:

WTH is this? A joke? Are they messing with us?? This move makes 0.0% of sense. Leading faceoffman and an ACTUAL NHL PLAYER, and they waive him. Are they planning on offer sheeting O'Reilly? That's the ONLY WAY this makes a lick of sense. Awful.

easy schevvy buddy, who are we to question. afer all uncle feasta has intellectual honesty working here. we are merely passengers on the flames cosmic tour. by the way only columbus is below us on the ledger.

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#49 RexLibris
February 16 2013, 03:46PM
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Easy explanation, someone hacked Feaster's smartphone and changed the date to April 1st.

Irving out now. While I think MacDonald is a decent backup goaltender, backing him up with Taylor is questionable at best.

Maybe Feaster is steering the Flames using the same strategy he did with the Lightning? Up side, Flames may yet draft first overall. Down side, it could still take years to crawl from the wreckage.

And to think, 48 hours ago I wrote something so positive about the direction of the team.

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#50 schevvy
February 16 2013, 03:48PM
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RexLibris wrote:

Easy explanation, someone hacked Feaster's smartphone and changed the date to April 1st.

Irving out now. While I think MacDonald is a decent backup goaltender, backing him up with Taylor is questionable at best.

Maybe Feaster is steering the Flames using the same strategy he did with the Lightning? Up side, Flames may yet draft first overall. Down side, it could still take years to crawl from the wreckage.

And to think, 48 hours ago I wrote something so positive about the direction of the team.

It's all your fault Rex!

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