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2011 NHL Free Agency: A Look at Ryan Jones

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The dog days of summer roll on, and today we'll examine another free agent name that's been floated out there for our Dallas Stars.  We're talking Ryan Jones.

Why he'd fit in
Jonesy plays a gritty style of play, and is very physical.  At 6' 205, Jones would be one of our largest forwards (almost the same size as Morrow for reference.) Not only is he physical, he also has some scoring ability - 18 goals and 7 assists for 25 points this 2010-2011 season marks the highest point total in his NHL career.  Jones has also been viewed as a "sparkplug" and brings energy to the ice even when things are not going well.  Sound like someone else we know? (Hint: wear the boot, Adam!)  He also has a great personality, a very good work ethic, and is very good with the media -- something that, while not seen immediately on the ice, can make a huge difference in the locker room and the players around him.

Why it won't work
Jones is yet another left shot on the left wing.  It is seen as a position of depth for our system.  Coming off of the best season statistics wise of his career, he'll be expecting a big pay day from his $975k he currently makes.  Having been waived by Nashville in 2009, there is speculation that his offensive output this season is a product of it being a contract year for the 26 year old.  The question is: has he reached his full potential, or is he a late bloomer?

Final Verdict
With the Oilers having a glut of young up and coming talent in their system (that's what finishing at the bottom of the league several seasons will get you) there may not be space for them to re-sign Jonesy at the salary he can probably obtain in free agency.

A gritty physical forward?  That's something we could always use more of.  Imagine if you will a line of Jones-Ott-Burish.  That could definitely be the shut-down line we need that can also provide offensive spark and depth as well.  You also can't dismiss the fact that based on Twitter alone Jonesy would appear to be an amazing fit in the locker room here as well.

He's not the missing piece to make our team 100% complete, but he does fill a good role that we don't have enough of.  Not to mention, who can resist that Flow?