Detroit Red Wings defenceman Derek Meech (14) celebrates in front of Ottawa Senators center Matt Cullen on a goal by Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (not shown) during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, in Detroit. The Winnipeg Jets called on some players with local connections in signing their first group of free agents.Winnipeg native Derek Meech and former Manitoba Moose forward Rick Rypien and defenceman Mark Flood were among the six signings officially announced by the NHL team on Monday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Carlos Osorio
WINNIPEG - Randy Jones is going to celebrate becoming a Winnipeg Jet by doing a little shopping.
After two seasons spent playing in Tampa Bay and Los Angeles, the defenceman admits he's in need of more appropriate clothing for his new home.
"I have to go out searching for some new snow boots," said Jones, who was one of six players signed by Winnipeg on Monday. "I don't see that as any problem. I'm looking forward to it. Hockey's played during the winter time, the freezing cold, and it's going to feel like hockey again."
Along with Jones, the Jets added Winnipeg native Derek Meech, winger Tanner Glass, centre Aaron Gagnon as well as former Manitoba Moose forward Rick Rypien and defenceman Mark Flood.
Jones signed a US$1.15-million, one-year deal to join his fourth team in as many seasons. The 29-year-old had 13 points (1-12) in 61 games for the Lightning last season and said he was excited to return to a hockey market.
"I think it's great," Jones said on a conference call. "Obviously any Canadian city with an NHL team is going to excel. I can tell that the fans are pretty eager to get a team back there and I'm sure they're anxious to get the season kind of going.
"It's going to be a great time, it's going to be a great city to play in front of."
Meech, also a defenceman, appeared in 126 games for the Detroit Red Wings over the last four years and received a one-year deal that will pay him $700,000 at the NHL level.
Glass inked a $750,000, one-year deal while Rypien signed on for one season at $700,000. They most recently played for the Vancouver Canucks.
The 27-year-old Rypien appeared in just nine games for the Canucks last season before leaving the team because of personal issues. He returned late in the season and suited up with the AHL's Moose.
Gagnon signed a two-year deal—the second year is a one-way agreement that pays $525,000—after splitting last season between the Dallas Stars and Texas Stars.
Flood spent all of last year with the Moose and is likely bound for the franchise's new affiliate in St. John's, N.L.