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From the Point Too

Penguins’ Trade Deadline Speculation: David Jones

The National Hockey League’s trade deadline is right around the corner; in fact it is now just 13 lucky days away. Which means that trade chatter and speculation is picking up. Of course there has been little activity to this point, which essentially speaks to the fact that there are a number of teams sitting on the fence trying to determine which direction they are going to go – buy or sell?

The Penguins are definitely in the “buy” category at this point and they are joined by a number of teams in their own division. The Rangers, Flyers, and Devils could potentially be looking at the same exact pieces that are on the Penguins’ radar and that could drive prices up.

The popular opinion around the Penguins right now is that they could use a little help with secondary scoring and a stout defenseman to bolster a blue line that hasn’t lived up to expectations on a game-to-game basis. The Birds have been linked to everyone from Hal Gill and Mark Eaton to Rich Nash and Teemu Selanne by the rumor mongers and dung stirrers of the world, but not all of those make sense.

Sure there is always a chance that Ray Shero will find a way to catch lightning in a bottle and pull off another “Marian Hossa” type of deal, but I have been spending my time looking for the under the radar moves that might actually make sense in terms of the salary cap and I think I found an intriguing option to help address the team’s need for secondary scoring and I talked openly about it during my appearance with Steve Mears and Rob Rossi on Penguins Live last Friday– David Jones of the Colorado Avalanche.

Jones started to make some sense to me while reading Adrian Dater’s blog in the Denver Post last Monday. My old Versus.com crony and Avalanche beat reporter started his piece off by licking some stinging wounds that were left by the New England Patriot’s loss to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl the evening before, but he quickly transitioned into talk about the versatile Jones’s availability.

“If I had to bet? Yeah, I’d say David Jones will be traded by Feb. 27. He’s UFA this summer. The Avs can’t let a guy like him go for nothing. But they also can’t be blamed for not signing him to a richer contract extension right now. He’s making $2.5 million. Regardless of how his season finishes – it’s been mediocre at best so far – he’d get a good offer this summer from someone. He’s only 27 and scored 27 goals last year. Some team would take a good bet on his potential.”

That scoring potential, his size (6-foot-2 and 210 pounds), and his favorable cap number – a prorated $2.5 million, which works out to about $609,756 for the twenty games the Penguins will play following the Feb. 27 trade deadline, is what made him an intriguing option in my thinking. Adding the former 27-goal scorer would help take some pressure off of the top line of Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz and James Neal.

Dater goes on to compare Jones to Tomas Fleischmann, who the Avs lost a year ago for nothing after he accepted a free agent offer from the Florida Panthers, and states that doing the same here would be “bad management” on the Avs part.

“Jones is in that Tomas Fleischmann category right now, and we saw how that went for the Avs. They lost him for nothing and he’s having a solid season for the Panthers, after getting a four-year, $18 million offer. Jones might not get that big an offer, especially with the year he’s had, but you never know.”

Adding Jones would give Dan Bylsma another forward who is capable of scoring 20-plus goals and it also gives him a winger that he could potentially slot in with Sidney Crosby when and if the Penguins’ captain makes his long awaited return to the line-up.

Jones hasn’t had a very good season to this point, but he is heating up as of late and has notched 6-points in his last four games. That success has come on a line with other skilled players in Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastney and one would have to assume that he would mesh with the likes of Sidney Crosby just fine.

According to Dater’s blog, the Avs are not in extension talks with Jones’s representatives and alludes to the fact that he might just be had on the cheap.

“But the fact remains: the Avs have to get something for him if they don’t want to re-sign him. I don’t care if it’s just a fourth-round draft pick or something, they have to do it.”

At the end of the day, Jones could make a lot of sense for both sides. The Avs could get a draft pick or player such as Eric Tangradi, while the Penguins get themselves a big forward with touch, who provides depth for the playoffs. They could also sign Jones to a cap friendly contract if they so choose to after his stretch run/playoffs audition.

If not, Jones can walk and no one is really losing anything in the deal. It is a vintage low risk, high reward trade that could pay off in spades if it were to come to pass.

The final piece of evidence that has my eyes trained on this situation is the fact that the Avalanche were scouting the Penguins games over the weekend. Does it mean anything? Maybe, maybe not… but it is certainly something to think about as we barrel towards the deadline.

What do you guys think? Is David Jones a fit on this team?

Possible top six with Crosby/Jones:

First Line:        Kunitz – Malkin – Neal

Second Line:   Dupuis – Crosby – Jones

Possible Price:

One of:

Mid-tier draft pick?

Extra D-man?

Depth forward?

Sources: Adrian Dater’s Denver Post Blog

Filed in: Pittsburgh Penguins, | From the Point Too | Permalink
  Tags: adrian+dater, chris+kunitz, david+jones, denver+post, evgeni+malkin, james+neal, nhl+trade+deadline, sidney+crosby

Comments

Evilpens's avatar

Metz you & I both know Sid wants Dupuis & Kuntiz on his wing & we also know what Sid wants Sid gets !

Quite tired of the trying to catch lightning in a bottle routine that the cap mismanagement has wrought


also this from Ellitte Friedman in another post on KK’s Not sure if Brad Thiessen qualifies, but someone told me he wouldn’t be surprised if Pittsburgh is one of Nash’s choices. Great team and he’s verrrrrrrry tight with James Neal. But I can’t figure out how Ray Shero could make this work, cap-wise).

Posted by Evilpens on 02/15/12 at 12:46 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

EP - I mean…Shero could swing it.  I don’t know what’s going on with Paul Martin.  Is he available?  Do the Pens want to move him/his contract?

If he is/the Pens do, they could send him and his $5 million per to Columbus in a Nash trade.  Throw in Kennedy and that’s $7 million.  I have no idea if that would work on Columbus’ end personnel-wise, but that would take care of the majority of the cap issue.

At least for this year.  New contracts for Neal, Crosby and Staal loom in the next couple of years, though.  So I’m not sure how Nash would fit in around their plans for those guys.  And I’m not sure if they’d want to get rid of a guy like Martin when they’re looking to make a run at the Cup…unless they could add someone on the blueline.  If they could get a vet d-man in a separate trade somewhere else (Gill would probably work best) then maybe.

I love this time of year.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 02/15/12 at 01:20 PM ET

Avatar

The Penguins could never handle Nash’s contract plus I don’t see how we could possibly put together a package Columbus would be interested in. 

They need everything from young goaltending.  They have to seriously position themselves after moving him and we have nothing that would help them moving forward.

I do like the David Jones idea though.  A change of scenary could do him good and we wouldn’t have to break the bank for him.  If we pick up a winger I really like the odds of Sid coming back this year.

And there is no way Neal - Malking - Kunitz line gets broken up.

Posted by tbassett on 02/15/12 at 01:58 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Flash the Problem is Martin has a Limited NMC. You think Martin wants to go from the Penthouse to the Outhouse?

Posted by Evilpens on 02/15/12 at 03:11 PM ET

Avatar

Considering there are only a few sellers this close to the deadline the price for David Jones would be pretty steep.  Granted he’s not having his best season, and with be a UFA this summer, doesnt matter. Your crazy if you think he can be aquired for a mid-round pick, an extra d-man or a depth forward.  Who else is available at the deadline? How many other 25 plus goal scorers in their 20’s are available?  I’m not saying it cant/wont happen. I actually like the idea of Jones with the Pens.  I just think the asking price will be much higher than you suggest.

A couple other things 1. Pens are not going to trade for Nash, just not going to happen, pens cant handle that contract on top of 87, 71, 11.    2. Nobody is going to trade for Paul Martin. Hes having a terrible year and carries 3 more years on his contract. I think the Pens will try hard to move him in the offseason, and might have a better chance at doing so then..still wouldnt count on it until he plays this season out of everyones memory.

Posted by JT from Pittsburgh on 02/15/12 at 04:01 PM ET

Avatar

Jones makes sense. He’s a little bit lazy from time to time, but that was said about Neal and I haven’t really seen it in this uniform.

As for the price, Jones, for whatever reason, has no name recognition around the league and Colorado’s GM is, frankly, terrible at asset management (though not drafting). He’s exactly the sort of guy that is underpriced in a trade or in the offseason and Colorado’s exactly the type of team to get ripped off on a deal for a guy like that.

Posted by larry from pitt on 02/15/12 at 07:58 PM ET

Avatar

Agreed with all saying that Nash just wouldn’t work for after this year unless you don’t re-sign Neal, which no one would want. 

I could see them getting Gill, but only if they trade another dman.  There’s just no one to sit if you bring him in.  Martin most certainly won’t be going anywhere until the offseason, and even then, I think he will be back.  Shane Doan was my longshot for the Pens.  I know it isn’t going to happen, but he would fit in perfect to the system.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 02/15/12 at 09:23 PM ET

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