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Former Avs animated with reunion

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

I can't shake him. I played with him a lot in college then at Colorado. I was really excited for him too to come home and play for Calgary. It's my first opportunity to play in Canada which is really exciting.David Jones

CALGARY, AB -- Just when David Jones thought he had rid himself of TJ Galiardi, the two end up together once again.

Teammates in college at Dartmouth for one year and again for parts of four seasons as members of the Colorado Avalanche, the duo were once again reunited on Tuesday when the Calgary Flames acquired the rights to Galiardi and promptly inked him to a one-year contract.

"I can't shake him," joked Jones. "I played with him a lot in college then at Colorado. I was really excited for him too to come home and play for Calgary. It's my first opportunity to play in Canada which is really exciting."

The reunion doesn't stop at just Jones for Galiardi.

He'll also rejoin another former Avalanche teammate in Shane O'Brien, who was acquired alongside Jones last Thursday in exchange for Alex Tanguay and Cory Sarich.

Coming with Jones and meeting up again with Galiardi will make a Calgary change that much easier, the defenceman admitted.

"It was the first time in my career that I've had a guy come with me like this. It's been great," O'Brien said. "Jonesy is such a great guy and picking up Gally, they're both quality guys. It makes the transition that much easier.

"I know a lot of the guys but it always makes it easier."

Galiardi has the easiest adjustment of the three.

Not only was he born and raised in Calgary, but he also played in the AJHL with the Calgary Royals and with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.

And with his ties to the Calgary community, Galiardi made no secret about his desire to play in his hometown to his friends.

"When we played in Denver together, he always talked about how much he wanted to play in Calgary and how much fun it would be," O'Brien said. "I knew he always had the interest in playing here and when I saw the trade yesterday I gave him a call 30 minutes after I heard to give him time to talk to whomever he had to talk to. I knew he'd be excited."

As if getting to play in his hometown isn't enough of a thrill, being able to reconvene with the likes of Jones and O'Brien makes the move home that much more memorable, admitted Galiardi.

"You can't say enough about it and these two guys are some of the best guys I know," he said. "It's going to make the transition way easier."

"O'Brien, he doesn't take anything too seriously. I don't want to pump his tires too much but when he gets on the ice he competes harder than anyone. It's going to be fun to put on the same jersey as him again. I'm looking forward to it."

"Jonesy, he's a really witty guy. He's got some of those backhand comments for you and on the ice he's going to surprise a lot of people too. A fresh start for him is going to be huge."

The pair were equally complimentary of Galiardi.

"Gali, he's a laid back guy, he's a fun guy," O'Brien said. "He's the type of guy when you come to the rink every day he puts a smile on your face. He works hard but he has fun with the game. I'm kind of the same way. We were pretty good buddies in Colorado when we played together."

Added Jones: "He's a good guy to have around. We get along really well."

Bringing all three back together as members of the Flames was a shrewd transaction by general manager Jay Feaster, according to the 29-year-old O'Brien.

"The moves he made getting Jonesy and Gali are great," he said. "They're both character guys in the dressing room, they both play hard every night and they're good people.

"When you surround your organization with good people and guys that want to win, only good things happen."

Which is why Calgary's reunited trio are the freshest faces on the Flames.

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