With rumors swirling last night about a possible Jacob Trouba offer sheet, the Columbus Blue Jackets have reportedly taken that option off the table with Seth Jones, their own high-prized RFA defenceman, says Darren Dreger of TSN and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet tells us that it’s worth $5.4MM per season, for six seasons. Cap Friendly also tells us that the deal includes a limited no-trade clause in years five and six. Jones will submit a list of 10 teams he cannot be traded to.
Last week we speculated on the possibility of Jones receiving an offer-sheet because of the tight cap situation that the Blue Jackets are in, combined with his elite potential as a top-pairing shutdown defender. While GM Jarmo Kekalainen came out to say that they would match any offer sheet submitted, it would have been extremely difficult for the team to do so without having plans to move some contracts out.
If they truly have come to an agreement, it must mean that the Jackets have figured out at least a plan for what they’re to do this offseason. Currently less than $6MM from the cap (before the Jones hit), they have been trying to move out bad contracts desperately and had conversations with Edmonton on the draft floor. David Clarkson, Scott Hartnell and Fedor Tyutin all have big money left on their contracts and have performed terribly in recent years.
For Jones, this represents the first big money deal of his career after going fourth overall in the 2013 draft. While he was hidden down an outstanding depth chart in Nashville, a mid-season trade brought him to Columbus where he is expected to take over on the top pairing with either Ryan Murray or Jack Johnson. Suddenly, the Blue Jacket blueline looks mighty intimidating with David Savard and Dalton Prout rounding out the group.