Bruins Send Newly Acquired Jones Back to California
In something of a surprise move, the Boston Bruins have traded newly acquired Martin Jones to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2016 first round draft pick and prospect Sean Kuraly.
The trade comes just four days after Jones was dealt to the Bruins as part of the trade for power forward Milan Lucic, which led to an emphatic insistence by Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney that Boston starter Tuukka Rask will not be traded. At this point, it seems that Boston plans to promote Malcolm Subban from the AHL Providence Bruins to play behind Rask, though they could still add depth when free agency opens July 1.
With Antti Niemi traded to Dallas, the Sharks now have Martin Jones and Alex Stalock as their NHL goaltenders for next season. It’s a risky move that gives them a very young and inexperienced tandem. Jones, 25, has been apprenticing behind Jonathan Quick in Los Angeles and has 34 total NHL games. Stalock, 27, has played 49.
The saving grace is that they are likely to be cheap.
Jones is an unsigned Restricted Free Agent, but was making $526,666 against the cap in Los Angeles. Even with a raise, he should be inexpensive. Stalock is signed for one more season at $1.6 Million. It is conceivable that the Sharks could manage to commit less that $3.5 million into their goaltending for the next season.
A lot of teams were high on Jones’ potential, especially after the 6-foot-4 stopper posted a .934 in 19 games as Quick’s backup last season, making Ben Scrivens expandable. Jones had a .905 save percentage this season and only got into 15 games, so like past backups on defensively tight teams like the Kings and Bruins it will be interesting to track his progress with another franchise.
— Vin Masi (@VinMasi) June 30, 2015
It was also be interesting to see Jones play against his old team for a Pacific Division rival, and while it’s hard to imagine the Kings would have traded him to the Sharks directly, there was a reason they put Jones on the trade block in the first place and, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, it involved San Jose:
SJ is working on a new contract for Jones. LA was worried SJ was would offer-sheet him.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2015
Friedman also reported Tuesday – and sources have confirmed to InGoal – the Sharks are bringing back Johan Hedberg in as their new goaltending coach after he spent last season working with the New Jersey Devils’ affiliate in the American Hockey League. San Jose recently hired Pete DeBoer as head coach after he was fired by the Devils last season, so there is a relationship between those two as well.
Wayne Thomas, who has served as both the goalie coach and assistant general manager in San Jose ever since legendary American goaltending coach Warren Strelow passed away at the end of the 2006-07 season, is expected to continue as an advisor, according to a source. Hedberg also trained under Strelow during his two seasons as San Jose property, including one season with the Sharks then-AHL affiliate, the Kentucky Thoroughblades.
UPDATE: The Sharks have signed Jones to a three-year contract worth a total of $9M, confirmed on Tuesday.
Martin Jones deal done. Three years, $9 million #SJSharks
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) July 1, 2015