Jones excited to play in Calgary
JERSEY CITY, NJ -- David Jones may have played all 272 of his NHL games in a Colorado Avalanche but he's very aware of the passion the city of Calgary has for hockey.
His wife is a former University of Calgary student and the couple lived in the city during the 2004 Stanley Cup run, giving him a first-hand look at one of the NHL's most fervent fanbases.
"It was amazing," Jones told CalgaryFlames.com on Thursday evening. "I remember it being absolutely crazy. They love their hockey in Calgary and I can't wait to be a part of a team that kind of following. It's going to be really exciting."
While he's excited to be a member of the Flames, Thursday's trade came as a shock to the 28 year-old. Drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the ninth round (288th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, he has spent his entire career in Denver and after a signing a four-year deal with the club in the summer of 2012, he expected he would remain a Colorado resident for quite some time.
"I didn't think it was coming," he admitted. "It was a pretty big surprise but it's exciting to have an opportunity to come and play in Canada. I'm really looking forward to it."
The winger is coming off a tough season that saw him score just three goals and record nine points through 33 games. However, in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, he hit the 20-goal mark and surpassed the 35-point plateau. He set a career-high in goals scored in 2010-11, 27, and was regularly used as a top-six forward over the course of those two seasons.
The Flames are likely going to look a lot different than in past seasons and while Jones isn't sure what the depth chart will be like come October, he's happy to play any role head coach Bob Hartley feels he is suited to.
"Wherever they want to put me, I'll play - I just want to contribute to the team," Jones stated. "I can be a third line player; go up and down, use my size to my advantage. And I can put the puck in the net too.
"I'm looking forward to seeing where they stick me and I'm looking forward to the season."
NOTE: Jones went the collegiate route after spending three years in the BCHL with the Coquitlam Express, playing for Darmouth for three years. During his freshman season, he was teammates with Flames winger Lee Stempniak, who played there for four years and graduated in 2004-05.