Did Calgary Flames Really Improve By Trading Alex Tanguay?

David Jones

Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames made a move that didn’t really surprise anyone on Thursday, when they moved Alex Tanguay to the Colorado Avalanche. While getting rid of one of your only offensive threats isn’t necessarily a way to inspire confidence in the upcoming season, Jay Feaster explained that the trade helps them get tougher to play against.

While that’s true, will the Flames be better off with this trade? It was a move that brought in David Jones, who the Avs couldn’t get rid of soon enough, and Shane O’Brien, with Cory Sarich also headed to the Mile High City in the deal. Tanguay gets to return to Colorado and potentially close out his career with a club where he had so many fantastic years.

As for the Flames, though, trading Tanguay isn’t really an issue. With the club in a rebuilding mode, you knew he wasn’t going to be around when the team was ready to contend, so it made some sense to move him and try to improve your club. But did the Flames achieve that?

O’Brien and Sarich really are the inconsequential pieces in this trade. Neither one is an impact defenseman, and very likely won’t see time above the bottom pairing, or perhaps (in Sarich’s case) the outside of the press box.

As far as Jones, though, does he make the Flames better? That remains to be seen. If he can rebound from an awful 2013 season, then perhaps. He has three years remaining with $4 million cap hit. Jones earned that deal after back-to-back 20 goal seasons, before falling flat on his face in 2013.

The shortened season saw Jones record only nine points in 33 games, including just three goals. He served as a healthy scratch on more than one occasion. Of course, his shooting percentage took quite the dive, about 10 points, all the way down to just a five percent success rate. That’ll improve, and it could lead to better numbers for Jones.

We’ll have to wait and see if this move actually makes the Flames better. But getting a bit younger with a player who has good upside, in Jones, is a solid move by Jay Feaster. It’s just a matter of seeing if he can rebound and return to that 20-goal form in 2013-14. If he can, this trade becomes a win for the Flames.

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