Seth Jones’ intention to test next year’s free agent market sparked speculation over where the Columbus Blue Jackets will trade him this summer. While some pundits suggest the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks or Montreal Canadiens as possible destinations, the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan proposed the Colorado Avalanche as a good fit for the 26-year-old defenseman.
Brennan pointed out Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic knew Jones’ father, former NBA player Popeye Jones, during their respective playing days in Colorado twenty years ago. Sakic’s advice to Jones to enrol sons Seth and Caleb in skating lessons put the two youngsters on their paths to the NHL.
The Avalanche carry a deep defense corps but Brennan believes they could lose a blueliner to the Seattle Kraken in next month’s expansion draft. He thinks Sakic could be considering what it might take to acquire Jones and convince him to sign a contract extension.
Jones has a 10-team no-trade list but he could be open to joining a Cup contender like the Avalanche. However, Sakic would face a daunting challenge finding the cap space to make it work.
With $61.7 million invested in 17 players for 2021-22 and defenseman Cale Makar, captain Gabriel Landeskog and goaltender Philipp Grubauer to re-sign, there’s not enough to add Jones’ current $5.4- million cap hit. Re-signing Jones to at least $8 million annually on a new contract would force Sakic to shed considerable long-term cap space.
Factor in the high cost of re-signing superstar center Nathan MacKinnon in two years’ time, and it’s unlikely the Avs will attempt to acquire Jones.