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.