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11-26-2008, 09:50 AM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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If Jones is struggling skating backwards, then his projection of December 6 is probably premature:

“It’s progressing every day,” Jones said. “The target was mid-December, but I would like to come back sooner. I’ll keep practicing with the team, day by day, and see how it feels.”

Jones is struggling to skate backwards – something that is a bit important to a defenseman – so he is participating in practice as a forward, skating primarily straight ahead.

“Backwards skating still isn’t 100 percent,” he said. “I still have to work on the conditioning part. But it felt really good today. This is a big step for me. I’m definitely happy that the surgery is over and the worst part of the rehab is over with.”

Jones was a top-four defenseman for the Flyers last season and was expected to be so again prior to the injury.

While the Flyers were missing Jones during the first portion of the season, the team is 10-3-1 in its last 14 games and the defense has been especially sound.

Which begs the question: Where does Jones fit in?

“I think you have to earn (the job again), because (although) you’ve played here before, you’ve been out two months and you come back, nothing is going to be given to you,” Jones said. “You have to play the best players that are playing the best. I have to come in here and I have a big job to do — to make sure I’m back in game shape, to help the team win.”

The other issue surrounding Jones is his salary.

He has a cap hit of $2.75 million. With the Flyers are situated about $450,000 under the salary cap, they have to find a way to shed more than $2 million to fit him.

Ryan Parent is in the same boat, but the Flyers have options with the young defensive prospect. He isn’t slated to return until after Christmas and although his salary is $855,000, the Flyers have an option to send him back to the Phantoms for a period of time until they can make the numbers work. They don’t have that choice with Jones other than for a few games for a conditioning stint.

10-year anniversary of Afleet Alex. A group from Philly, a little girl, an "anxious" jockey and a spirited horse were bonded forever.
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