Why The Chicago Blackhawks Will Probably Never Be Declared The Winner In The Seth Jones Trade

All people tend to see is his massive salary cap hit and production that does not live up to it.
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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Not since Alexei Zhamnov has there ever been a more polarizing Chicago Blackhawks player than defenseman Seth Jones.

Maybe it is because of what they both represent.

Zhamnov got a lot of scorn from the fan base as he was the player the Hawks got back in the Jeremy Roenick trade. Then owner Bill Wirtz did not want to pay Roenick a lavish new contract, so the team traded the superstar to the Arizona Coyotes for Zhamnov who was supposed to be a cheaper, suitable replacement.

Zhamnov never had a great career like what was hyped by the franchise when he came to Chicago. He was never truly embraced by a scorned fan base because he represented Wirtz's cheapness.

Jones represents former general manager Stan Bowman's foolish idea to try to pry open a contention window that was never going to happen. Heading into the summer of 2021, Bowman decided to scrap a rebuild and instead went all in by acquiring high-priced veterans like Jones thinking that would return Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to playoff glory.

It did not. Instead, those moves failed miserably.

The team was never going to contend under then-head coach Jeremy Colliton's rigid system. The team got off to a 1-9-2 start and never recovered. Colliton was fired after that horrid start.

Bowman resigned in disgrace in October of that year after his role in the cover-up of alleged sexual harassment and misconduct by the team's video coach of a player in 2010.

Because of not continuing with a badly needed rebuild during that summer, the Chicago Blackhawks have been left in their current state.

They have also been left with Jones who is taking up $9.5 million in cap space for the rest of the decade. Not only did Bowman trade away defenseman Adam Boqvist, two first-round picks, and a second-round choice to the Columbus Blue Jackets for the exclusive negotiating window for Jones, but he also gave Seth an eight-year, 76 million-dollar deal to go along with it.

That number has stuck in the craw of everyone ever since.