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Bargain bin special: Randy Jones

Flyers' defenceman Randy Jones is currently available on recallable waivers, for half of his $2.75 MM cap hit. Jones was a victim of salary cap economics at the start of the season, but with today's announcement of Simon Gagne's Long Term Injured Reserve status, the Flyers are using the cap room to try to slip Jones back up to the bigs. Should Oilers consider taking a "flyer" on Jones?

Randy Jones is 28 and his contract expires at season's end, two positives in my view. This team has far too few prime-of-career players, and far too few in the <$1.5 MM category as Jones would be on re-entry waivers. In terms of career-stage and contract he's in a similar position as Mike Comrie.

Jones was a 19-minute a game player the last two years in Philly, and was a plus player in both regular season and playoffs both years. (Total 140 GP, 9-33-42, +23, 84 PiM) Last year the 6'2, 200-pounder played 47 games, posting 4-4-8, +8. His Behind the Net data show him getting third-pairing QualComp and QualTeam with a typical third-pairing lousy Corsi (about -7 Relative Corsi which isn't that bad). To balance that he had a team best PDO# (team Sh% + Sv% when on ice) of 1.011, so that his goal differential of +0.36/60 was exactly on the team average. He started in his own end quite a bit (198 defensive zone faceoffs compared to 166 in the other end). He played a couple minutes per game on each special team with indifferent results. Despite a two game suspension for the highly-publicized boarding of Patrice Bergeron, Jones is not a physical defenceman, recording just 20 hits last season (8th among Flyers defencemen) and 66 blocked shots (6th). calculates that the Oilers currently have enough room to take on about $1.038 MM in annual salary, less than Jones even at half-price ($1.375 MM). Presumably, however, a contract would be coming off the active roster to make room for Jones. Possibilities include the waiver of Steve MacIntyre or Jason Strudwick, the reassignment of Steve Staios to LTIR, or a trade. Jones may or may not be better than Staios -- their cap hit is a wash -- but at least he's healthy. With Souray and Staios battling concussion, and Smid, Visnovsky and Gilbert the flu, there's something to be said for acquiring a veteran defender on the cheap.

Hat tip ---> Mr. DeBakey for his comment on the game report thread