The offseason continued to pick up on Monday evening with a trade between the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers sent Caleb Jones and a 2022 third-round pick to the Blackhawks for Duncan Keith and Tim Soderlund.
So, why does this impact the Flyers?
Well, Caleb Jones is the younger brother of Seth Jones. The Flyers have been hot and cold on Seth Jones throughout the early stages of the offseason. The Blackhawks, like the Flyers, have reportedly been among the teams with serious interest in the Blue Jackets blueliner.
Jones, 26, has a $5.4 million cap hit for the 2021-22 season before his contract expires next offseason. He already informed the Blue Jackets that he’ll be testing free agency next summer. It makes sense for Columbus to try to move him this offseason.
However, Jones has some say in the negotiations. Teams that trade for him may want a sign-and-trade deal so they know that the assets they’re giving up to acquire him won’t be for just one year of Jones.
Are Flyers still in on Seth Jones?
A few weeks ago –– even as late as last week ––, it looked like the Flyers were one of the main frontrunners for Jones. However, things changed over the weekend. Early Saturday morning, Elliotte Friedman reported that Seth Jones may not want to make a long-term commitment to the Flyers just yet. If that’s the case, the Flyers will likely want to steer clear of the polarizing defenseman.
Seth Jones isn’t the only top-tier defenseman available this offseason and the Flyers may be keen to look elsewhere. Seth may want to join his brother –– a left-handed defenseman –– in Chicago as not only teammates but perhaps defensive partners down the line.
However, Caleb being in Chicago doesn’t mean that it’s a done deal for Seth to join him. The Flyers also have a family member of Seth’s in town. Popeye Jones, Seth’s father, is an assistant coach for the Sixers. The Blackhawks would still need to put together a good trade package for Seth and he’d need to commit to a rebuilding Chicago team.
If the Flyers are out on Seth Jones, there are other options for them to pursue. Dougie Hamilton should be atop their list, Ryan Ellis talks could pick up again with the Nashville Predators, and Matt Dumba is another right-handed defenseman that Chuck Fletcher is very familiar with. The Flyers have also been linked to Adam Larsson among other names.
The Flyers aren’t out on Seth Jones just yet. But Caleb Jones getting traded to Chicago is something that could impact the offseason.