It was announced yesterday that Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Jones will stay with the club for 2 years.
Jones who was to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st exclaimed, "I'm thrilled" when asked about the agreement.
"When you can get a deal done this early, it shows that both sides were working toward the same goal," said Jones. "I really want to be here and the owner, managers and coaches want me here as well."
For Jones, it was a simple decision for him to stay with the club; all he had to do was just sit and wait for the right numbers to appear on paper. In his mind, he couldn't think of any other place to play, especially after the break-out season this year.
Jones finished his 2010-11 campaign with an admirable 18 goals and 25 points while using his hard nosed, blue collar style of play. His work ethic and positive attitude on and off the ice granted him some valuable ice time. In fact Jones was seen on the first line when the injury bug ran rampant in the locker room. His adaptability to play on any line is a direct asset for a club who remains in rebuild mode.
For the fans of Edmonton, their contagious exuberance and excitement for the future has now touched every player on the squad. To answer the support from their fans, Jones believes the Oilers will reciprocate with wins.
Perhaps even a berth in the playoffs for next season.
"The community bleeds copper and blue. It's a great place to play and the fan support is simply amazing. The history of the team is unreal too. You look at the young guys we have in the organization now and the steps that they took last year. It's an exciting time for the organization and the second part of the so-called 'rebuild'. This is where we start winning games." said Jones.
"There's a great, great team in that locker room. We went through some battles, some ups and downs last year" he said. "That's going to make us stronger as a group. You never know what the team can do. We've got the personnel and we've got the coaching. The sky's the limit and I think the playoffs are a realistic goal."