The Columbus Blue Jackets Need to Trade Seth Jones
It's safe to say that the Columbus Blue Jackets have fallen short of expectations this season.
The team that heroically responded to the loss of three high-profile free agents in 2019 by turning into an elite defensive unit, later shocking the favourite Toronto Maple Leafs in the play-in round last summer is now a distant memory. What's left is a team that's since fallen apart, owing to the fourth-worst share in expected goals for percentage (xGF%) in the NHL; they're offensively anemic, and they've fallen from a top-five defensive team to the middle of the pack.
Strong team defence provided the basis on which Columbus could withstand the loss of Artemi Panarin, but as their quality has eroded so too have their chances of competing.
This unexpected fall from grace makes the looming decision of what to do about franchise defenceman and 2022 unrestricted free agent Seth Jones extremely clear -- the Jackets need to trade him as soon as possible and extract as much value as possible in return to make the transition to a new chapter in the franchise's history less painful.
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