Category Archives: Ryan Jones
The following is from a great piece over on the Chatham-Kent Sports Network about former RedHawk Ryan Jones and his current status in the NHL. As of July 1, 2011 the ex-Miami captain will become an Unrestricted Free Agent-free to sign with any team that bids for his services and there is said to be no guarantee that the third year pro (I know, third year…really?) will return to the Edmonton Oilers.
Here’s Jonesy on where he and the Oil stand:
“We are still in talks right now,” said Jones. ”We aren’t in a huge rush right now as both my agent and the Oilers management have lots of stuff on their plates right now. The things I am taking into consideration right now would be my fit in the organization and the fact that both my wife and I enjoy being in Edmonton and playing there. That being said like any player I want some stability so that is where we are at right now.” (CKSN)
The problem with Jones is that many in the NHL feel he is a “3rd line plus” player- a guy that provides energy, competes every shift and chips in a few goals if he gets some bounces. While those of us who followed his college career need no introduction to his goal scoring ability, guys that carry a “bottom six” reputation as Jones does aren’t usually in high demand on the free agent market. Many teams, however, believe they can fill these role player spots with players from within the organization (i.e. the minors). The best case scenario is that the Oilers (and teams wishing to sign him) will view his career-high 18 goals (tied for tops on the Oilers) as yet untapped potential and utilize his skill-set on the second or third line, not on a checking line as most of his career has been spent.
By the way, Jones was also honored as Edmonton’s representative for the NHL’s Bill Masterton trophy, an annual award given to the player on each team that is said to most exhibit a dedication to hockey.
> With the Nashville Predators missing the 2009 NHL playoffs, rookie forward Ryan Jones was returned to the Milwaukee Admirals and will join the team as they face the Rockford IceHogs and Miami classmate Nathan Davis in the first round of the AHL playoffs.
In his rookie season, Jones played 46 games on the Predators’ roster, scoring 7 goals and 10 assists, while compiling 22 penalty minutes.
>Ryan Jones needs no introduction. Those in the Miami community know who he is, what he’s done, and where his career is heading. I recently had the chance to find out a little more about his career in professional hockey, his thoughts on the Frozen four, and his reflection on Miami, straight from the man himself. Enjoy.
AM: What went through your mind when you found out you were being traded to Nashville? Had Minnesota given you any indication of where you’d be playing this season and what was your reception like within the Predators organization when you arrived?
RJ: “The first thing that went through my mind initially was shock. I really couldn’t believe that I was being traded before my first full professional year. Minnesota had a meeting with me just after I had surgery to repair my shoulder (combination of 4 years of college and a freak collision with the boards in my first pro game) and told me that they were looking for me to compete for a position on the big squad. They had some holes that weren’t filed and were looking to go with a more youthful line up, so things looked good. The Predators were great when I got here. I actually came down two months early to rehab my shoulder and live with Jason Arnott. His brother is my agent so that is how the connection was made. It was good to meet the guys prior to the season and get a chance to establish my work ethic within the organization.”
AM: Talk a little about how life in professional hockey differs from life as a collegiate hockey player. In addition, how does “game day” differ?
RJ: “Well, there is a lot more down time. Just think of when you were sitting in class or doing homework and saying, “man I could do so much if I wasn’t in class or doing work.” That is what it is like. It is actually a fairly boring lifestyle if you ask me. Travel is second to none. We have a private jet and basically all we do is show up at the private runway and step on the plane. Meals are provided on the plane so it is extremely nice. My game days have actually settled down from college. I spent a lot of the game day at Miami getting myself pumped up because there was so much practice time between games. Here I try to calm myself down because it is the NHL and I am so excited every game.”
AM: Living in Ohio and being an admitted Blue Jackets fan, I don’t get to see many Predator games on TV. I know that a large part of your game is camping in front of the net and driving to it to try and create offense. Has the Predators system/your role on a line/Coach (Barry) Trotz allowed you to focus on doing this? Would you consider your game in the NHL to be similar to the game you played as a RedHawk?
RJ: “My game is exactly how it was at Miami, minus the confidence. As a rookie you spend so much time worrying about if you’re going to be in the line up and dwelling on mistakes and what not. My confidence has been a roller coaster so far this year and I think my game has taken a hit because of it. Much like my freshman year at Miami, I haven’t been as productive as I would have liked to be, but I continue to work hard and try to provide energy. The goals and points will come next year when I have had the experience, the game starts to slow down, and I start to be confident in my game again.”
AM: We all know the story of why you chose to grow your hair long…because of Korinne Croghan and Locks of Love. In her passing, how have you been affected and how did Korinne’s fight inspire you, on a personal level?
RJ: “Well, the whole thing was a little more publicized than I would have liked it to be. I worry that I took a little bit of attention away from who the attention should have been on. People made a big deal about me growing my hair and it took off because I was an athlete. I would have liked the stories to be more about her and how amazing of a person she was; a celebration of her life so to say. The one regret that I have is not showing the world more of how amazing of a girl she was. On a personal level, I still stay in contact with her family and sent some equipment, (jerseys and what not) to her brother and her foundation. I’ll always remember her and how she enjoyed everyday of her life despite her struggles. I always thought about her when I was in the AHL, feeling sorry for the situation I was in. She taught me to enjoy everyday which is what I did and it ultimately led to my being re-called.”
AM: With it being tournament time, here’s a two-part question: Watching the Boston College game last year, I remember you were shown leaving the bench after the Eagles had scored the game winner in overtime. What was that moment like for you, knowing your Miami career had come to an end?
RJ: “I have said before and still say that that moment was one of the saddest days of my life. Miami was a huge part of who I was. I had life-long friends there, people I loved and whom I enjoyed working so hard for. Everything about Miami was amazing in my eyes; the community, classes, partying. It just couldn’t get better to me. I expected, going into that tournament, to be playing two weeks later, so I never braced myself for what might happen. At that moment, reality hit me that I would never wear the Miami jersey again, which is why I didn’t want to take it off.”
AM: Second part: you said after that game, in the press conference, that you’d be the first alum to call once the program made the Frozen Four. I know that after several attempts, you did in fact manage to reach Coach Blasi. Explain the feeling you had when you found out that Miami beat Minnesota-Duluth to advance.
RJ: “I was able to watch the games this past weekend at my place due to not traveling with the team because of my injury (which I am quickly healing from. SORRY Jackets fans, I’ll be back to punish them!). What I saw was exactly what Miami hockey is all about: hard work, sacrifice, dedication and passion. I was proud beyond words to be an alumni of the team that was playing. When they won those two games, all I could think about was a promise that I had made to my school to be the first person to call and I was not going to break it. I was able to get ahold of Rico after the meeting and it was a pretty emotional conversation, I’ll leave it at that. I have talked to most of the guys since and I look forward to another excited phone call in two weeks.”
AM: To me, you are a large part of what “The Brotherhood” is about and in my opinion, a perfect example of what a captain should be. What do you personally feel that you’ve done to better the Miami hockey program? I could list about 1,000 things and am sure others could too, but what does Ryan Jones feel that he’s done?
RJ: “My goal in life is the leave every place I stop a better place than when I arrive. I am not sure in which way I have made Miami better. It was an amazing place when I got there. However, many people have told me how much I have impacted the program and that is one of the greatest compliments I will ever receive.”
AM: Put your rookie season, thus far, into perspective. Explain how it has played out vs. your initial expectations. Were you at all…”starstruck,” more or less, to playing with/against guys that you maybe had watched throughout your years in college and before?
RJ: “I told myself I was going to do everything in my power to play in the NHL this year and I accomplished it. I wish I could have played the year a little more consistently. There were games I felt like I was one of the best players on the ice and others where I questioned if I could keep up. If I can eliminate the latter, I will be a darn good NHL player. Another thing I wish, is that I could eliminate the injury I am currently dealing with. It is kind of a pain and is really testing my mental strength off the ice. I was star struck at first, but I can recall winning a face-off against Mike Modano and at that point I realized that all these guys I looked up to were just players and I could compete.”
AM: One of the highlights of this rookie season was your first NHL goal, which you scored against Marty Turco, another CCHA guy, from Michigan. Explain that moment.
RJ: “My first goal is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. It is a moment when everything kind of came together and a childhood dream came true, (actually Turco is so old that when I was 6 I was probably imagining scoring on him, joking). That goal was a big thank you to so many people that have had such a huge impact on my career. The main people being my parents, especially my father who sacrificed so much for me to play hockey at the level I did. My dad is the greatest leader the world will ever see and only a few people will see it. That however, is a long story. Not far behind my family is my second family, the people at Miami. Coach Blasi, Bergeron, Blashill, and Petraglia. Athletic Director Brad Bates, Steve Cady, Josh Fenton, the man himself Mr. Goggin, who without him, Miami hockey would not be possible. I could list 100 people at Miami that I scored that goal for, including many fans. It was just nice to be able to give people something to cheer about and be happy for.”
AM: I’m very curious to know what type of rookie hazing you’ve been subjected to?
RJ: “Nothing other than paying for the rookie meal, which was more than I want to share. I’ll just say it was somewhere between five hundred and five thousand. You can guess which end it was closer to.”
AM: Inquiring minds were wondering: Is there any significance as to why you wear the number “10” in Milwaukee (which you also wore in Houston) and “28” in Nashville? I know Steve Sullivan has 26 occupied, for now.
RJ: “I was always a be “19” fan, but I think my calling is 26/27. “26,” because of the obvious, I played the best hockey of my life in that number and “27” because my cousin, John Tonelli, wore that number and I think it would be cool to have it in the family. Both of those numbers were taken, so I just stayed with the number they gave me at camp. You haven’t seen the last of the Jones 26 jersey though, I promise you that.”
AM: Is there anyone you keep in contact with at Miami, or guys you’ve played with on past teams? Do you feel you’ll always follow the program in years to come and as I’m sure many will wonder, do you plan on going back to Oxford at all?
RJ: “I keep in contact with a bunch of the guys that I played with. Mitch Ganzak and I were roomates throughout our time at Miami, so we still have lots to talk about, but I have made so many good friends that I will stay in touch with them all. Brian Kaufman is someone I live with in the summers, so I have to congratulate him publicly for being the oldest player in Miami history. Brian and I train together and we are life long friends. I plan to come to Miami in the summers for the Alumni events which sound exciting beyond belief. I will always follow Miami hockey because of how much the program meant/means to me.”
AM: Closing thoughts? What advice would you give anyone considering making a commitment to play college hockey at Miami?
RJ: “If you’re looking for a place where hard-work, dedication, sacrifice and comradery are the core of everyday living, then Miami is your place. If you want individualism and spot light, try Michigan (laughs). Miami is a place where dreams and life long friends are made. It is the best four years anyone can ever wish to experience.”
>Sophomore forward Carter Camper has been named to the CCHA-All Conference squad. Camper, on the first team, is the only Miami representative to be named. Others receiving votes from Miami were Pat Cannone, Justin Mercier, Kevin Roeder, and Chris Wideman. In his second season with the RedHawks, Camper has 19 goals and 19 assists, for a career total of 79 points and is most assuredly on his way to the 100-point club, with two years of eligibility remaining.
– The latest edition of Inside the CCHA features this a preview of this weekend’s quarterfinal matchups. Among their guests this week…none other than former RedHawk captain and current Nashville Predator, Ryan Jones! Click Here to Listen.
-Here are some game notes with stats and previews for this weekend’s series against Northern Michigan. MURedHawks.com will also feature a live game day blog, beginning on Friday.
Northern Michigan comes into the second round of the tournament fresh off a weekend sweep of Michigan State (5-3, 8-2). The Wildcats are unbeaten in their last six games and since the calendar turned to 2009 Northern Michigan holds one of the best records in the nation at 13-3-2. No team in the CCHA has won more games in the New Year and only No. 1 ranked Boston University has more wins nationally (16). Northern Michigan has also played one of the toughest ’09 schedules as they have had six road games against ranked opponents. The Wildcats are led by a trio of young scores in Gregor Hanson, Mark Olver and Erik Gustafsson. All three have 30 points or more and hold a +14 or better (on the season). Of the three only Olver was able to record a point on the Wildcats last trip to Oxford.
The Wildcats earned a win and a tie (shootout loss) on its trip to Steve Cady Arena on Feb. 20-21. The RedHawks outshot the Wildcats 91-27 on the weekend including holding Northern Michigan to seven shots on goal on Feb. 21. It was the first time in school history Miami held an opponent under 10 shots in a game. Miami holds a record of 14-29-3 in the all-time series with the RedHawks leading 9-8-2 in games played in Oxford.
THE REDHAWK RUNDOWN
– Carter Camper picked up an assist in the Feb. 27 game against Ohio State and ended his second regular season with the RedHawks having never been held pointless in a CCHA series in which he has played in both games. Camper has kept the streak going with goals in seven of his last eight CCHA series.
– Miami holds an all-time record of 21-31 in the CCHA tournament and a 16-8 record in Oxford. Miami has won six of its last 10 CCHA tournament games and been in the CCHA title game in two of the past three seasons.
– The RedHawks lead the nation in the penalty kill with a 91.1-percent (185/203) success rate. No other team in nation is better than 90 percent.
– Connor Knap and Chris Wideman were both named to the CCHA all-rookie team this week becoming the first pair of RedHawks named to the first team since Matt Christie and Marty Guerin in 2003-04.
– Miami has not lost a CCHA second-round home series since being swept by Lake Superior State University in 2007. The sweep by the Lakers is also the last time Miami has been swept in a home series.
– Justin Mercier became the first player in Miami history with 100 wins and 100 points when he scored an empty-net goal against Ohio State on Feb. 28. It was the second time the senior had found the net in the game and the first multi-goal game of the season for the Erie, Pa. native.
– Brian Kaufman has scored three goals in his last two games including his first multi-goal game of the season against Ohio State Feb. 28.
– Bill Loupee comes into the CCHA playoff having played 99 career games for the Red and White.
REDHAWK SPECIAL TEAMS
The RedHawk special teams units are currently rated the best in the CCHA. Miami leads the conference and the nation on the penalty kill with a unit that is successful on 91.1 percent (185/203) of power plays by opposing teams. The RedHawks also have a solid power-play unit that is currently ranked second in the CCHA with a 19.5-percent (41/210) success rate. Miami has two of the top three power-play point-scorers in the CCHA this season in Carter Camper and Pat Cannone. Camper is tied for first in the conference with 22 points (11-11-22) with the man advantage and Cannone is tied for second with 21 (5-16-21). This season, Miami is 12-6-4 when it scores on the power play, 9-6-2 when it is perfect on the penalty kill and 7-3-2 when it does both in the same game.
IN THE RANKINGS
Miami is currently ranked eighth in the USCHO and CBS College Sports Division I men’s hockey poll. The RedHawks have moved up and down in the Top 10 this season but have been ranked within the nation’s Top 10 for 46 consecutive weeks. During this run, the RedHawks have been ranked as the nation’s No. 1 team for ten weeks. Miami has also been ranked in the Top 10 for 81 of the last 89 weeks and has been ranked No. 1 11 times. This season, Miami has played 10 games against ranked opponents and holds an overall record of 6-3-1, boasting two shutouts (Notre Dame – Oct. 24, Michigan – Nov. 21), both by freshman Cody Reichard.
– Staying with the Quest for the Mason Cup, INCH has published their version of the CCHA Tournament preview. Here’s their take on the “Keys to the Game”:
Season Series: Northern Michigan leads 1-0-1, Miami won the shootout
Wildcats Fact: Northern Michigan has as much success as anyone at Steve Cady Arena this year, taking three points on the weekend while goaltender Brian Stewart made 89 saves in the two games.
Redhawks Fact: With this weekend’s games, Miami has hosted a home playoff series in each of the three seasons the new rink has been open – the RedHawks are 1-1 in the two previous series, losing to Lake Superior two years ago and knocking off Bowling Green last year.
How NMU Wins: The Wildcats need to ride all of the momentum that they’ve built throughout the second half, spreading the puck around evenly as five players enter the weekend with four-game point streaks.
How Miami Wins: The RedHawks are fortunate to have some experienced and hungry players looking for an elusive first CCHA playoff championship for the program. They will, however, go only as far as Connor Knapp and Cody Reichard take them.
– MURedHawks.com has posted this morning’s online chat with seniors Kevin Roeder and Brian Kaufman here. I’m sure the boys liked the questions received from a few “fans,” namely Ryan in Nashville and Jeff in Ontario!
– Finally today, news that the Bowling Green hockey program may be in jeopardy due to the school’s 10 million budget shortfall. You can read the article, courtesy of College Hockey News, at this link.
>For those that don’t know, Ryan Jones was recalled today from Milwaukee and scored his fourth NHL goal for the Nashville Predators in a 2-1 Colorado win tonight.
Here’s HockeyBuzz’ Brandon Felder, with Jones after last night’s Nashville loss:
Brandon Felder – “How would you describe your time down in Milwaukee. You’ve obviously had success down there.”
Ryan Jones – “Well it’s a learning experience. It’s my first year out of college and the pro game is a little bit different so you go down there and get to learn things at a slower speed. The wall play and stuff is crucial down there but the game is not as fast.”
Felder – “Going into tonight was there any nerves or was there more of comfort feeling since you’ve been up here before?”
Jones – “It’s more comfortable and I’m more confident having been here before, knowing that my play controls whether or not I’ll be here in the future. So, I just go out and play my hardest.”
>– NHL.com has a nice article about the impressive performance of Jeff Zatkoff, for the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
These days, it’s the Los Angeles Kings who are far from mad with Zatkoff, who was selected in the third round by the club in the 2006 Entry Draft. Playing in his first professional season, Zatkoff is 7-6-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage for Ontario, which is the Kings’ ECHL affiliate.
You can check the rest out at this link.
– USCHO “prognosticator” Paula C. Weston predicts a Miami sweep this weekend against hapless RPI:
The RedHawks swept the Engineers in Troy, N.Y., last season, outscoring RPI 12-4. RPI is 3-11-1 overall this year; last week the Engineers broke a six-game losing streak with a 7-2 win over Brown. This series is Saturday-Sunday. Miami 4-2, 4-1
– Ryan Jones has been sent back to the Milwaukee Admirals after being recalled yesterday by the Nashville Predators. Jones suited up for his 16th NHL game last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, seeing 10:43 worth of ice time.
>Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled forward Ryan Jones from the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.
Jones, who started the season with Nashville and has six points (3g-3a) in 15 games with the Predators this season, was reassigned to the Admirals on November 20. The 6-2, 215-pound forward has posted nine points (6g-3a) and a +4 rating in eight games with Milwaukee.
Jonesy will be in the lineup tonight against Columbus (TV: FSN-Ohio).
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It will be Round Two for Ryan Jones when the Predators play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Jones began the season on the NHL level, but was reassigned to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League about three weeks ago – along with fellow rookie forward Patric Hornqvist.
He’ll be wearing the Predators jersey once again tonight, as Jones was recalled this morning because of injuries to Jordin Tootoo and Scott Nichol. The 6-2, 215-pound forward had posted nine points (six goals, three assists) and a plus-four rating in eight games with the Admirals. “He’s been playing very well in Milwaukee,’’ Preds coach Barry Trotz said.
“He got a goal last night and he’s really been taking his game to the next level. It’s good. We want guys to come up based on accountability and performance versus reputation or draft status.’’
Jones said he feels the experience gained at the AHL level has benefited him.
“I think my confidence increased while I was there,’’ Jones said. “I can honestly say I think I’m a better player now than when I went down.’’
>– The Cincinnati Hockey Blog has a nice feature on the pro career of RedHawks Assistant Coach Chris Bergeron. Happy (belated) birthday Berge! You can check that out at this link.
– Ryan Jones scored the game winning goal in OT Friday night as the Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Houston Aeros, 2-1. Jonesy was also named the as the game’s first star. Milwaukee and Houston again, face-off today at 3:50pm.
– Nino Musitelli had a knee first collision with the dasher board on Friday night and sat out of Saturday’s game against Reading. No word on whether or not Musitelli will play tonight, as the Dayton Bombers once again host Joe Cooper and the Reading Royals. Nino has been impressive with the Bombers, scoring 6 goals and 9 assists.
– Mitch Ganzak (Wheeling) is currently second in the league’s plus/minus ranking, with a +15 on the season. Another former RedHawk, Ernie Hartlieb, is fourth, with a +13.