What seemed inevitable after last week’s trade of Duncan Keith to Edmonton where Caleb Jones came in return finally came to fruition on Friday evening where the Hawks traded for his brother Seth, and what a price they have paid and are going to continue to pay until well after the environmental extinction event that’s slated to occur in 2025 or so.
In exchange for Jones and the Jackets’ first rounder they got from Tampa for David Savard, the Hawks sent Adam Boqvist, this year’s first, next year’s second, and next year’s first rounder with lottery protection, meaning the pick gets moved to 2022 if the Hawks are bad enough to pick first or second next year, which can’t be ruled out. The Hawks then turned right around and gave Jones the maximum term allowable at 8 years, giving him $9.5 million per in addition to this season, which he will play for a hit of $5.4 mildo. The deal also contains a full no-movement clause and is structured as such to where even a buyout if necessary will barely give any cap relief. So for those counting at home, the Hawks are absolutely locked into Jones for the next decade, and if he’s not a perennial Norris candidate until near the end of this paper, this will be an utter disaster.
And a couple years ago, this very outlet might have said that’s well within reach. But Jones’ numbers have been declining over the past three season in Columbus, both in even strength scoring and his possession numbers relative to the Jackets’ team rate, which while relatively positive, was still dogshit overall. This would be a hell of a price to pay to bank of a “change of scenery”, even if all of the tools have always been there for Jones, with size, speed, and defensive awareness, and all of that might be rendered useless anyhow under Coach Jeremy Prinze Jr.’s stupid ass system. If nothing else, this move certainly puts him on an extremely hot seat, which is a positive development. Given that, expect Jones to be among the league leaders in ice time all season long if only to cover his lithe and sinewy ass.
The bigger story here though is what all of this implies for this team’s identity, and no not the logo which should be changed. This is now Seth Jones’ team, and this team has told everyone that thought their actions in the span of a week. They’ve given him his brother and the longest term possible making him one of the highest paid defensemen in the league. Even Toews, DeBrincat, and garbage dick only have two more years left on their deals, so Jones is instantly the most entrenched player in that locker room. And given that he’s empowered and there presumably will be a leadership vacuum with Toews’ future still up in the air and Duncan Keith now gone, this is Jones’ room to command, and what he did in his last locker room should be cause for concern. Without mincing words, Jones (and his brother and mother) are proud anti-vaxxers and perpetuate right wing conspiracies on social media. The room in Columbus got so bad that Pierre-Luc Dubois demanded out of town. So while it’s been made quite clear in the past 48 hours that the Hawks locker room has never been a peaceful place or one of acceptance and inclusion, this has the potential for a whole new flavor of disharmony, and in the post McDonough era, it will be interesting to see just how tight of reins Jamie Faulkner puts on the whole family for the sake of the terminally image-conscious organ-I-zation.
- The Hawks also drafted defenseman Nolan Allen with the last pick in the first round, a defenseman with projectable size but unimpressive scoring numbers out of the WHL, and used the 62nd overall pick to draft Colton Dach, Kirby’s younger brother. See, the Hawks are just like a family, they take care of brothers and they never, ever talk about the sexual abuse that has taken place.
- Speaking of hockey and sex crimes, the Marc Bergevin sure had a funny way of backing up his claims that he knew nothing of Bradley Aldrich’s abuse when he was here in 2010 by turning around and drafting Logan Mailloux, who is facing criminal revenge porn charges in Sweden, and flat out told teams not to draft him. Mailloux only showed even the slightest bit of contrition once it started making the rounds that it would impact his draft status, previously holding the age-old line that the woman in Sweden was out to ruin his career. So naturally that’s enough for the Habs to just go ahead and draft him anyway. Proving once again that literally every team is not only complicit in the culture that allowed what happened here in 2010 to happen, but is an active participant in perpetuating the rape culture from top to bottom for as long as the sport has existed.