Seth Jones doesn't regret signing long term with Blackhawks
The first season of Seth Jones' eight-year, $76-million megadeal is about to begin, but the Chicago Blackhawks aren't quite where the defenseman thought they would be when he signed last July.
"It was a little frustrating to see (the trades this summer) at first. It's not really what I or anybody had in mind, looking back a couple years," Jones said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times' Ben Pope. "But it is what it is. It's going to make a lot of us better in here. We'll be patient with each other and help each other through this."
He added, "I don't have any regrets."
The Blackhawks' last two offseasons have been radically different. In 2021, Chicago made a series of splashy moves and seemed poised to make a push up the Central Division standings. The organization traded for Jones then signed him to a hefty extension, and they picked up veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights.
The wheels swiftly fell off, though. The Blackhawks went 1-9-2 to begin 2021-22 and fired head coach Jeremy Colliton in early November. Far out of the playoff picture at the trade deadline in March, Chicago dealt Fleury to the Minnesota Wild and sent talented young forward Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Blackhawks ended last season in seventh place in the Central Division with a 28-42-12 record, and the losses continued this summer. Chicago moved on from Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik, and Dylan Strome, while the futures of franchise mainstays Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are hazy at best.
In the midst of all the turnover that comes with a rebuild, Jones said he's focusing on the "bigger picture."
"Patience is going to be important this year. At the same time, we're going into every game trying to win," he said. "We're going to have to be a disciplined, structured team this year (and) make sure teams earn their wins and goals against us."
Jones, 27, posted five goals and 46 assists in 78 games during his first season in Chicago. He averaged a career-high 26:13 of ice time per contest, the most on the team.
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