This is Ryan "Tubthumper" Jones. He falls down a lot. Sometimes he falls down even when he scores goals. According to some, he is a quality third line player who has the ability to play either side and move up and down the roster. According to others, despite the puck going in the net from time to time, he is not a very good hockey player. This is somehow worthy of a two year deal at allegedly over $3 Million total. I don't get it. Ryan Jones has all of the external attributes worthy of such a contract; he's a nice, hardworking guy with a hell of a mullet, (something sorely missed in these parts, at least by me) and he works his ass off. That said, he is a black hole in the underlying numbers and a defensive liability. However, at 2 years with this approximately $1.5 Mil cap hit, he is not going anywhere.
Interlocutor: But we like him! He has sweet hair and scores a lot. Why the lack of love? You don't know anything about playing hockey. You're a qualitative sociologist who should be writing your dissertation proposal and yet you cite a source filled with advanced statistics to illustrate why you think he's bad?! You sir are a hypocrite, and a terrible bastard.
Oh jesus, not you again. Why do you have to show up and make me angry? Ok, look, I get it; people really like Jonesy, but this team has so many tweeners and one-season wonders on the payroll (see Brule, Gilbert and the now bought out Mini Magic for further reference) that it seems foolish to lock in this sort of percentage riding player for anything longer than a year. The numbers all seem to suggest that the dude got really lucky this year and his shooting percentage will fall back to earth. Plus, one can only hope that the team doesn't get so decimated by injuries that he won't have to play as many minutes as this past season. Furthermore, he is not so good at defence, which is what not you would hope to find in your bottom six.
Interlocutor: What do you know about defence? Why do you think you're a better person for both asset and time management than either 3.0 or the former #4?
I don't. Never claimed to. I just know that Jones being here for 2 years with that kind of a term is a risk for a bad team to take. He doesn't seem like a tradable asset at this point, he eats up roster space that could be used to procure someone better in the offseason or block someone like Teemu from making the big club in the fall simply due to his cap hit.
Interlocutor: I call bullshit-if he's kicking anyone off the roster, it's either Smac or JFJ, not Harski.
You sir are an optimist. I don't like the term. The player I could take or leave, but the 2 year deal seems a tad risky. Don't play the "we let Glencross walk away for nothing and traded Brodziak for magic beans" argument either-this player is more Brule than GlenX, and as such, I am cautious. Is this a flash in the pan, or can Ryan Jones actually overcome what our friends at the Copper N Blue have actually termed "the Ryan Jones Effect?" 18 goals on a terrible hockey team with very few NHL calibre players is nice, but when all the underlying numbers say that such a feat is unlikely to reoccur, I have little faith that it will. On the other hand, any player who legitimately wants to play in Edmonton might just be worth the benefit of the doubt, at least in the short term. Ryan Jones may not be the best player on the team, but he's got the combination of hair and heart that makes me hopeful he might beat the math.