Randy Jones, claimed off waivers from Philadelphia today, makes $2.75 million this season, but because the Kings got him off re-entry waivers, they’ll only have to pay half of that salary. Jones is due to be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Jones, 28, had been in the Flyers’ system since 2003, so both Dean Lombardi and Terry Murray had familiarity with him. Jones has appeared in 217 NHL games, over parts of five seasons, with 13 goals, 56 assists and 134 penalty minutes. This season, he played six games for the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL. At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, with a left shot, Jones loosely fits the role that Denis Gauthier previously filled for the Kings (although it’s not a direct comparison).
Jones is probably best known in the NHL for his 2007 hit from behind on Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, which gave Bergeron a concussion. Jones was suspended for two games for that hit.
Murray, who served as an assistant coach in Philadelphia when Jones played there, said Jones would arrive in L.A. on Friday and described Jones as “thrilled. He’s very, very excited, looking forward to joining us and getting back into the NHL.” More from Murray…
(on Jones’ game…)
MURRAY: “Well, he’s a pretty good player. He’s a player who plays in all situations. He can play on your power play. He’s a good penalty-kill defending player. He’s a pretty good all-around player, so when he does get into the lineup, there won’t be any hesitation in any one of those situations.”
(on whether the Kings acquired Jones because they needed defensive depth or because they wanted him regardless…)
MURRAY: “Well, I don’t want to get into it on an organization side of things, but from the coaching side of it, he’s an NHL player. With Martinez injured, and how that’s coming along, it could be still a little bit of time before he’s ready to go. This gives us depth at that position, that maybe we were a little bit concerned about.”
(on whether Jones will go into the lineup right away…)
MURRAY: “I think, when you get a new player coming in like this… We have some practice time now. After today, we’ve got a couple days of practice, (then) play and a couple more days of practice. So we’ll get him acclimated to the structure and the system and then we go from there. I really like what our group of defensemen are doing right now, so I’m not going to disrupt it, but the depth is an issue that we did have some concerns about, coming through the early part of the season, and now we’re in pretty decent shape in that look.”