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Jones Excited To Be On Wild, In Playoff Hunt

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

As David Jones watched and waited on Monday to see if the Calgary Flames would trade the 31-year-old forward, time was winding down.

As the 3 p.m. ET deadline approached, Jones had yet to be moved, while the Flames had already shipped defenseman Kris Russell and forward Jiri Hudler in separate moves.

"My family and I were just hoping I would get a chance to go to a team that's going to make a run for it," Jones said, holding court in Saint Paul on Tuesday for the first time. "Three o'clock came and went, and I got a call a little bit afterwards that I got moved."

But then came another waiting period, as the Minnesota Wild and Calgary had to wait to get on a trade call with the league.

"I was really excited, and then I had to wait about three hours to get it confirmed," Jones said. "When I found out I was going here, I was excited, and then I found out there might have been an issue with — I'm not exactly sure what happened — but it's confirmed, and I'm here, and I'm real excited."

In the Wild, Jones has a team in the thick of the race for a playoff spot, and one that, playing his entire nine-year NHL career in the Western Conference, he's seen many times.

"I always find these guys a really tough team to play against," Jones said. "They have a lot of speed, and a lot of ability, so I'm looking forward to just jumping in. They play really fast, which is exciting."

His Wild debut will have to wait, as Jones won't be available on Tuesday. After flying to Minnesota from Philadelphia, Jones has to sort a visa situation out, and his equipment didn't make it onto his flight.

But when he does draw into the lineup, likely Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Wild thinks Jones can be a contributor.

"First of all, his size, and he can skate well," Mikko Koivu said. "His stats show he can finish with goals, too. He's a good add for the lineup, and he's been around for a long time already. I'm sure his experience will help us."

Wild interim Head Coach John Torchetti said he's still working on where Jones will fit in. But with the potential for 14 healthy forwards for Thursday, Jones adds more cards to a deck Torchetti and his staff can shuffle however they see fit.

"Next guy up if you're not doing your job on your line, or special teams, somebody else is going to take the spot in front of you," Torchetti said. "You have to work for it. Good competition is a good, healthy thing for a team."

Now, Jones is just happy to be in Minnesota, after a day of waiting that was followed by more waiting.

"I know it's a good team," he said. "Coming here, I know they've had an up-and-down year, and I'm just trying to do whatever I can to get them into a playoff spot."

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