PHILADELPHIA, PA -- It was a tense Monday for David Jones.
Jones, a pending unrestricted free agent, was expecting news that would see him traded from the Calgary Flames at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline.
It came, eventually, in a deal that will send the 31-year-old to the Minnesota Wild.
“I was excited,” Jones said. “I waited all day and I was hoping that I would get to go to a team that will go to the playoffs and take a run at it and I think that Minny has a great team. I’m really excited. It was a crazy day. I got called just after three, just after the deadline. I was chewing my nails thinking that I wasn’t going anywhere, but sure enough they said I was getting traded. It was another three hours before it was confirmed. I’m excited. I can’t wait. Looking forward to joining those guys.”
The trade was announced well after the 1 PM MT deadline.
“I was told that there was a bit of an issue or a mix up,” Jones said. “Once they said that, I was a bit worried and I was driving on the bus with the Flames thinking I might be playing tonight. Sure enough, it was confirmed later by the league. It was a tough couple of hours there.”
Jones had 32 goals and 62 points in 174 games over parts of three seasons with the Flames. He was originally acquired by Calgary along with Shane O’Brien from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for left wing Alex Tanguay and defenceman Cory Sarich on June 27, 2013.
“I had a great time in Calgary,” he said. “The playoff run last year was incredible and for me, I just want to get back there. As much as I love Calgary and my teammates, I think this situation for me is great. I get to go to a team that is going to make a push. I’m excited. I’ll miss those guys, but we’ll stay in touch.”
The Flames acquired goaltender Niklas Backstrom and a sixth round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft in exchange for Jones, who joins a Wild team within two points of the Colorado Avalanche, who hold the second wild card entry into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.
Calgary currently trails Colorado by 12 points.
“I’m expecting to go and play my game,” Jones said. “I’m an up and down winger, most people know. I try to play physical and finish when I can. We’ll see where they want to slot me in, but I’m just looking forward to jumping in feet first and doing whatever it takes to help them win.