The Blackhawks opted to keep Caleb Jones over Calvin de Haan and Nikita Zadorov.
The Blackhawks look to be all-in on acquiring Seth Jones somehow, whether it be via trade or by signing him next season. Regardless of how, they definitely made their intentions very clear when they decided to protect Caleb Jones. I don’t know what they see in Caleb, but there isn’t much of a sample size to go off of.
As I said before, there are two ways the Blackhawks can acquire Seth Jones: Free agency, or via trade. Personally, I feel like free agency is the best option. Here is why.
The asking price for Seth has been public for a while by this point: Kirby Dach, Alex Debrincat or Adam Boqvist, and a second-third rounder or Ian Mitchell. There is no way you give up Dach AND Debrincat for anyone, especially where the Blackhawks stand right now. You never give up the potential cornerstones of your franchise, especially when Patrick Kane could be heading out the door in the next few seasons.
My idea? Waiting could be the best option.
Seth will be a UFA at the end of this contract, not an RFA. There are no rights kept by the team that trades for him. They could very well give up everything just to see him walk in free agency. That’s when the Blackhawks come in and sign him to a contract, but not give anything up in the process. Yes, the idea of this is very black and white because it could go very well, or it could not. Seth could sign and trade with another franchise and the Blackhawks missed out.
If Seth wants to play for the Blackhawks over any other team, they could hold out and wait until free agency to just sign him. On top of this, their core would still be intact. This would catapult them further towards becoming contenders instead of possibly taking steps back with a large move. This is out of the box, and Seth’s UFA status is the only reason why I am considering this idea as a possibility.