By Adam Eisenbarth
The NHL offseason flurry of transactions had a touch of Rimbey to it this year.
On June 30, Rimbey-born Jason Jaffray was traded from the Calgary Flames to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Logan MacMillan.
“I was definitely surprised,” said Jaffray. “I didn’t really know where I sat in their system and obviously they were willing to make a change and hopefully it turns out positive for myself.”
It was a whirlwind week for the left-winger who celebrated his 29th birthday on the day he was traded. His new son was born the day before.
“I was actually sitting in the hospital when I found out that I was traded.”
Jaffray then celebrated his anniversary with his wife a few days later.
“It was pretty hectic over that four-day span, so there were a lot of mixed emotions for sure.”
Now Jaffray will turn his attention to the Ducks, who missed the playoffs last year, but are just a few years removed from their 2007 Stanley Cup championship win.
“Over the last couple years they’ve given opportunities to players on two-way contracts and had a lot of call-ups and that sort of thing so that’s all you can really ask for is an opportunity to make the club out of camp and to have a good chance to be called up throughout the season.”
Jaffray spent the majority of his season with the Flames’ Western Hockey League affiliate, Abbottsford Heat and played three games with Calgary.
His biggest taste of the NHL came in the 2007-2008 season when he played 19 games with the Vancouver Canucks, scoring a couple goals and four assists.
Of course, he won’t be so close to the family in Olds anymore as a result of the trade.
“That’s the tough part, I go from either playing in Calgary or Abbottsford to California or (the affiliate in) New York.”
Nonetheless, Jaffray enters the Anaheim Ducks era of his career with a positive attitude. “It’s a matter of me being able to make the next jump to the NHL and that’s what I’m really looking for.”
Jaffray lived in Rimbey for only the first few years of his life and while he doesn’t have many childhood memories of the town, he still stops by for visits with family.
“My grandparents both lived in Rimbey and I’ve got a couple sets of cousins that are still in Rimbey, so I still spend a bit of time there each summer.”