I was able to talk with new Kings defenseman Randy Jones today, a few hours before he flies from Philadelphia to Los Angeles.
Question: How did you find out about the trade, and what were your thoughts when you heard about it?
JONES: “Actually, I was sleeping when I guess it happened. The night before, I went to a concert with a couple buddies, and I got back and I was taking a nap the next afternoon when I woke up and I had a bunch of messages. One of them that I looked at said, `You’ll love L.A. Congratulations, it’s a good fit for you,’ or something. So that’s pretty much how I found out. So I was like, `OK, great!’ So I kind of realized that I was going to L.A., and then I had a couple voicemails that finalized it. I was excited. I woke up with a smile, and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since.”
Question: It seemed like you were stuck, in a way, with the Flyers’ roster and salary-cap issues. Did that get frustrating? Did it almost feel like it was out of your control?
JONES: “Well, sometimes you do feel that it’s a little out of your control. I guess when it first happened I felt a little (upset) at the situation. You almost want to put blame on someone or just get (mad) at certain individuals, but I came to realize that it’s now how I should be handling it. In reality, I should have played better, if you will. You have to play good enough so that they can’t get rid of you. So it was a tough situation, but you kind of have to make the most out of it. I went down and I was still playing great hockey in the American Hockey League. Obviously that’s not where I want to be. I want to play in the NHL. That was the bottom line, and I feel like I can help any team. So I’m really excited to get this opportunity. There was a situation with Philadelphia, but I’ve been here for six years, going on seven, and I’ve loved every minute of it but I’m now looking forward to my opportunity in L.A.”
Question: Terry Murray, Dean Lombardi and Ron Hextall were all in that Philadelphia organization. Is there a familiarity there that can help you?
JONES: “It does make it easier, when you’re kind of familiar with some of the guys that are there. Like you said, I do know Mr. Hextall and I had coach Murray as my defensemen coach here in Philadelphia a few years ago. So I am familiar with them and I have a great relationship with them. We always got along well here, and I always respected them when they were here. Even some of the players that I know a little bit. Willy (Justin Williams), I know him a little bit, and also Handzus, I played with him. And Rob Scuderi, I actually was his brother’s roommate in college. I roomed with him for a couple years, so we kind of said hi to each other when we played against each other when he was in Pittsburgh.”
Question: For fans who don’t know your game, can you describe what you try to accomplish on the ice?
JONES: “I feel I’m a two-way defenseman, a puck-moving defenseman. I like to be able to play in all situations, whether it’s power play or penalty killing or any situations like that. I feel I’m a competitive guy and I don’t enjoy losing. I’m just really thrilled, and I couldn’t be more happy to come to L.A. and play in front of those fans.”
Question: Terry compared you yesterday to Kyle Quincey, and there might also be similarities to the way he was claimed last year and thrived with an opportunity. Is that how you see yourself as well?
JONES: “Well, that’s why sometimes, when you think there’s a little bump in your career, and there’s another opportunity that arises, you take advantage of it. I sat back and I felt that L.A. would be a good fit for me. I don’t mean the city, but I actually mean L.A. the organization and the hockey team. They’ve got a great young team, and they’re playing very well and playing extremely hard. I know how coach Murray likes to coach, so I’m a little familiar with that. The biggest thing with me is excitement. I’ve been all smiles since I heard, and I can’t wait to get there.”