Blackhawks have broken their roster down, but Seth Jones will remain
The Chicago Blackhawks have reached the point where they have now moved on from four talented young players, blowing up the roster, and aren’t committed to very many players long term. Seth Jones, who signed an 8-year contract worth $9.5 million AAV last July is now stuck on a rebuilding team that projects to be very bad. Or are the Blackhawks now stuck with Jones and his contract?
The Blackhawks moved on from Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach, Dylan Strome, and Dominik Kubalik and longtime stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have one year remaining on their deals. Jones, signed for four more years than the next closest player on the team, is joined by just two other members signed past the 2023-24 season.
It will be tough to move Seth Jones if the Blackhawks want to
First off, the cap space that is being allocated to just one defenseman who isn’t one of the very top talents on the back-end in the NHL is a lot. For the next number of years while the Blackhawks are rebuilding it won’t be a problem to help them reach the cap floor. At the same time, it will damage his stock by having his numbers and confidence be affected by the poor play by the team overall.
If the Blackhawks were to try to move Jones, first they would have to either approach him to have him waive his no-move clause, or the defenseman would have to ask to be traded out since this isn’t what he signed up for, regardless of the payday he is getting. If both parties were to get past that, then there is no way a potential trade partner will take on the full value of his contract, causing the Blackhawks to retain, even once they should have come out of a rebuild 4-5 years down the line.
Seth Jones’ contract was definitely an overpayment considering he makes the fourth-most AAV among defensemen and struggles defensively. He is still a good player offensively and would be a number one on a number of teams, but that much money typically scares suitors away regardless, especially since it will look much worse near the end.
This is just speculation that the Blackhawks would be thinking about moving Seth Jones, as neither side has made a move here. I expect Jones to at least play a couple of seasons with the Blackhawks and a decision to leave will be by him if it happens, not Chicago.
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