Randy Jones’ cap hit haunted the Flyers for two years, now half of it will haunt them the rest of the 2009-10 season.
Jones, 28, did not clear waivers as expected on Thursday. He was picked up by Los Angeles for $1.37 million to solidify their defense corp. This gaff puts the Flyers on the hook for the same amount, which becomes dead space against their cap.
After dispatching defenseman Randy Jones into AHL exile prior to the start of the season, the Flyers seem to have had second thoughts.
As of Wednesday, the Flyers have placed Jones on re-entry waivers in an attempt to get him back on the active roster. If claimed, Philly would be responsible for half his $2.75 million salary, $1.37. All of which would remain on the salary cap.
Three days after being placed on waivers, defenseman Randy Jones has not been picked up, therefore automatically assigning him with the Adirondack Phantoms. The cost-cutting move drops $2.75 million from the Flyers’ roster which gives the team the ability to sign utility forward Blair Betts, which is expected soon. Jones will be replaced by either Ole-Kristian Tollefsen of Danny Syvret.
Also sent down to the Phantoms were Patrick Maroon and Lukas Kaspar.
Betts, a training camp try out, impressed thoroughly in the preseason with his expertise in penalty killing and face offs. Now that Jones’ contract is off the books, a signing is expected before the end of the day.
The Daily News has confirmed through team sources that the Flyers will waive defenseman Randy Jones sometime this weekend. The move will put the sixth defensive spot up the grabs between Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and Danny Syvret, one of whom will become the seventh defender.
Jones, who has suffered from a chronic hip injury the past two seasons, has had a less than impressive preseason. The sluggish start, matched with his hefty $2.75 cap hit, made him a target to be waived. Jones has one year left on his contract.
Jones spent the last three years as a starter for the Flyers, scoring 61 points in 184 games.
According to the initial report on Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, the gritty blue-liner was all-but signed pending a passed physical. Well, the physical results are in, but Tollefsen remains just “a player of interest.”
“He checked out OK,” General Manager Paul Holmgren told the media.
Anthony SanFilippo of the Delco Times is reporting that former Columbus defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen will be in town by the end of the weekend for a physical. And if the 6’2, 211 lbs. blue liner passes all that’s thrown at him, he will become the newest Flyer.
Aside from gaining a proven winner and needed physical presence on the defensive end, newly acquired defenseman Chris Pronger gives the Flyers something they desperately lacked for the past two seasons — the ability to counter the Penguins.
With Pronger in the mix, the Flyers are instant Stanley Cup contenders. The sudden legitimacy is due to the new-found ability to shut down the opposition’s top-two scoring lines, but specifically, the most potent two-line duo in the league.
At the conclusion of the Flyers’ season, it was announced that defenseman Randy Jones would need exploratory surgery to figure out why the same hip that needed a procedure done to repair a torn labrum at the beginning of the season, was still giving him pain. After getting the hip checked out by professionals, it turns out Randy did not re-injure himself, but just needed a clean up.
On Wednesday, Jones underwent a surgery to clean up scar tissue and inflamed tissue in his hip.
“Jones had immediate relief from the surgery they did today,” Holmgren said.
Jones finished the season under extreme pain caused by the sore hip and serious surgery was a potential concern. But with him possibly on the trade block in the offseason, not needing months of rehab is not only a breath of fresh air for Jones, but for the Flyers as well.
On March 30, during the second period of a Bruins – Flyers matchup, Boston play-by-play man and now infamous hockey legend, Jack Edwards, witnessed Milan Lucic bowl over Flyers’ defenseman Randy Jones from behind. The crowd thought a boarding could have been called and made a typical groan at the sight of no referee calling the slight infraction. Edwards then hollered with glee with what quickly became a youtube.com must see.
“Lucic hammers him! And down goes Jones,” Edwards screamed. “And how’s this for irony, the crowd wants a call for a hit from behind! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.”
The sound clip sent shock waves into the hockey community. Edward’s lack of professionalism, unflappable bias and overindulgent hate for Jones, had many scratching their heads as to why the man still has a job. But during an interview with hockey blog “Puck the Media”, Edwards attacks Philadelphia fans and the organization for not canceling the 2007-08 season after Jones knocked Patrice Bergeron out with a boarding.
“The Philadelphia media swallowed the PR spin whole to the point that the Philadelphia fans now, in revisionist history, a lot of them think that hit by Jones was not a significant hit,” he said. “That there was no problem with it, and that it was just the circumstance that resulted in Jones’ suspension. For that crowd to whine and moan after a perfectly legal shoulder-to-shoulder hit, that sent Jones in a non-threatening angle down behind the goal, not face first but sideways into the boards. For them to whine that there should be a hit from behind, frankly, was hilarious. Anybody who can’t connect those two dots, and see the humor in the crowd, not at the hit by Lucic but the crowd’s reaction, you’re distorting the story or have no sense of humor.
“The point is: lighten up folks! I mean, you’re just dead wrong about that one, just dead wrong, and for them to plead for a call for Randy Jones’ benefit was just such a twist of karma that I actually found it hilarious,”
During the second period of the Flyers – Bruins match up on Sunday, Bruins’ forward Milan Lucic threw himself into the turned body of defenseman Randy Jones. The borderline play could have been cited for boarding, but wasn’t, sending the Flyers’ home crowd into a groaning frenzy. That’s when Bruins’ play-by-play man Jack Edwards struck.
“Lucic hammers him! And down goes Jones,” Edwards screamed into the mic. “And how’s this for irony, the crowd wants a call for a hit from behind! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.”
The reference was due to an incident last season, when petite Bruin Patrice Bergeron, turned his back to a charging Jones, who put him face first into the boards, ending Bergeron’s season with a severe concussion. Jones, who is not known for dirty (or physical) play, was suspended and was apologetic. But apparently Edwards doesn’t forgive and forget.
The evil laugh and unprofessional nature shocked out of town Philadelphia fans, who watched the telecast from Yahoo Sports, which streamed the Boston feed.
“That was the most unprofessional thing I’ve ever heard in a sports broadcast,” said one Philly fan located in Boston, on the message board Flyersphans.com.
But Edwards still wasn’t finished. What the youtube.com video doesn’t show is Edwards yelling “Cry me a river!” after a replay of the hit.
Edwards reputation proceeds him as an enormous homer. And despite whether you are for or against the Bruins or Flyers, it’s hard to disagree.
Ryan Bright (Philabright@gmail.com) is a sports writer, born and raised in the Philadelphia area. A graduate of West Chester University, he has been with the Daily Local News in Chester County since early 2007, working as the paper's college and high school ice hockey beat writer. In 2010, began as a contributer for CSNPhilly.com, covering the Flyers and the Philadelphia Union.