When David Jones and Shane O'Brien (remember that guy?) were acquired in the Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich deal I wasn't super impressed. I'll be the first to admit that David Jones took a while to grow on me, though there are factors of his game I still don't enjoy.
He was fresh off a 27 goal season in 2010-11 and then a reasonable 20 goal campaign in 11-12. That garnered a fancy new contract (four years at $16 million) with the Avalanche, and he didn't live up to expectations in the first year of the deal.
So when it came to this season, hopes were very high that he could stay healthy and hopefully return to a respectable level of offense. Those goals were partially met as Jones missed eight games at the start of the season which made things a little difficult. He would miss five more this past season (a four game stint and a single game) to play at least 60 games for the first time since the 11-12 season.
Offense came in spurts, in a predominately secondary roll. Goals were scored in random intervals despite a stretch of games in October where Jones had a three game goal streak. Beyond that, Jones was a respectable player relative to his teammates in the advanced stats world. Coupled with being slotted up and down the lineup with possession drags didn't help his situation even further.
At the start of the season, I viewed David Jones more in a, "... Oh… you’re still here…?" light. When he got injured, I didn’t really notice, or particularly care. But somewhere down the line, Jones wormed himself up from being part of a horrible trade to actually being an asset for the Flames. He quietly put up points while holding down the right wing - the only natural right winger on the entire team - and had a good playoff showing.
Basically, while he isn’t anything special, and he’s definitely not worth his contract, he isn’t a negative on-ice and he’s a solid veteran contributor. It’s entirely possible he regresses next season, but for this past one, he was perfectly alright, and exceeded (already low) expectations. Keeping him around for the remainder of his contract will be just fine.
Mike FAIL (C+):
Every time David Jones got hit, fell down, winced in pain, or looked in distress I immediately panicked that he was injured again. He seems to have some value in creating or generating high danger scoring chances and higher quality shots than others, which can prove to be useful moving forward. Possession-related, he is just better than others, but not someone you rely on predominately.One thing that bugs me about Jones is sometimes he looks overwhelmed and with that comes mistakes.
Playoffs looked slightly better for him, as he put up very respectable numbers even though the team struggled in round two. I still hate his contract, if he was $2M cheaper I would be very happy. Just stay healthy David, and maybe you'll return to a more solid form.
His beard is nice though.
David Jones is the embodiment of "Meh." He’s a jack of all trades but a master of none. He’s not a great possession guy, but he’s serviceable. He’s not a fantastic scorer, but he’ll get some points.
He’s not great on the power play, but he chipped in two goals there in limited minutes. He didn’t get much time on the penalty kill, so that’s hard to rate. All in all Jones is a solid player that can play anywhere from lines two through four, albeit with at a contract that’s hard to swallow.
I always forgot about David Jones last season, and the beginning of this one as well. The man is made of glass, but we got to see a lot more of him this year, and it wasn’t disappointing. It was actually kind of nice having him around on the right wing.
He put up nice offensive output for a secondary scorer, and looked pretty solid on the ice. I didn’t notice anything glaringly terrible, and he did have some standout moments. He’s not an elite player but he’s definitely helping more than he’s hurting.
David Jones somehow looked different this year; maybe it’s because he only missed 15 games instead of half of the season. He was clearly more comfortable than the previous year, which is probably the Backlund effect working on him.
Jones was at the very least consistent in all three zones of play, and definitely improved. He still has bumps to work out, but at age 30, it’s unlikely he’ll suddenly become any better.
I don’t know why, but I always expect more from David Jones. I always feel that whatever he does, he could do a little better. Again, I can’t think of anything spectacular or awful that he did, so at least he’s consistent.
David Jones was a solid offensive contributor for the Calgary Flames this season, scoring 1.76 points per 60 minutes at 5v5, good for fourth on the team behind Hudler, Raymond, and Bouma. Jones wasn’t a great possession player even by the Flames’ poor standards, but his numbers were better when considering war-on-ice’s scoring chances and high danger scoring chances.
In other words, when Jones was on the ice he contributed to more higher quality shots for and fewer quality shots against relative to his raw possession numbers. At 4 million per season Jones is overpaid, but he still adds value in a depth role for the Calgary Flames.
A consensus scoring from us here at Matchsticks has given David Jones a respectable B-. Highlighting in particular Liam's comments, with his contract being $4 million per year, you really do expect a bit more from him. Although, injuries and usage throughout the lineup can impact his performance. His play along with Mikael Backlund (and Lance Bouma) did make him look better. Though as Christian eluded to, it could be the Backlund effect.
To be fair, it probably is the Backlund effect.