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Flames re-sign Jones and Stempniak

Friday, 06.29.2012 / 5:16 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

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NHL Free Agency 2012 blog
Flames re-sign Jones and Stempniak

The Calgary Flames on Friday re-signed center Blair Jones and forward Lee Stempniak to two-year contracts.

The team says Jones' deal carries an average annual value of $650,000. Stempniak's deal is for a total of $5 million, a $2.5 million AAV.

Stempniak scored 14 goals and added 14 assists for 28 points in 61 games for the Flames this past season, his first with Calgary. He was originally drafted in the fifth round (No. 148) by St. Louis in 2003 and has also played for Toronto and Phoenix. In 517 regular-season games, he has 129 goals and 275 points.

“We like what Lee Stempniak brings to our line-up, and our team missed him a lot with an injury last year,” Flames general manager Jay Feaster said in a statement. “We believe Lee continues to have strong upside offensively, and he has demonstrated that he can be responsible at both ends of the ice. His skating style and willingness to get in on the forecheck will fit-in nicely with Bob Hartley’s up-tempo style, and he provides the coaching staff with more options on the power play.”

Jones played 21 games for the Flames last season after being acquired from Tampa Bay on Jan. 6, scoring a goal and assisting on three others. He had a pair of goals and two assists with the Lightning in 22 games prior to joining the Flames. The 25-year-old has scored five goals and nine assists in 99 NHL games with the Flames and Lightning, who chose him in the fourth round (No. 102) in the 2005 NHL Draft.

The Flames extended a qualifying offer to Jones, a restricted free agent, earlier this week.

"Blair Jones is the type of 'hard to play against' player we want in our line-up," Feaster said in a statement. "He is a big body, he is fearless, he drives hard to the net and takes defenders with him, he uses his body effectively in both zones and he is versatile in that he can play on the third or fourth line, kills penalties, blocks shots and can be spotted occasionally on the power play for net-front presence. In addition, we believe he is only going to continue to get better as he works on other aspects of his game such as faceoffs and being an irritant to play against. We are pleased to have him signed."

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp