There still is a little time for redemption — 10 games, to be exact. For David Jones, there are nine games left to prove this season wasn't a complete bust.
The veteran right winger returned to the Avs' lineup Monday night against the Calgary Flames after missing time with a knee injury. The injury was the latest in a long list of things that haven't gone Jones' way this season, the first year of a four-year, $16 million contract with Colorado.
His three goals and seven points in 27 games are a big reason the Avs entered Monday in last place in the NHL. Avs coach Joe Sacco acknowledged that, yes, there is pressure on Jones to prove to the coaching staff he can again be a reliable player.
"It is a big 10 games for him," Sacco said before Monday's game. "He needs to kind of redeem himself after the start that he had and before he got injured. We were, as an organization, counting on more from Jonesie, especially offensively. I'm not exactly sure I can pinpoint one thing that got him off track."
Some Avs fans have wondered whether Jones' contract might be bought out this summer as part of the NHL's "amnesty" program that allows teams to buy out up to two players to better get under a reduced salary cap. That is highly unlikely, however, as the Avs probably wouldn't want to lose a player like him — still in his 20s — for nothing.