Irresponsible Rumormongering

The Rangers should pass on Seth Jones

The big news this week from the NHL is that Seth Jones will not be re-signing in Columbus when his contract expires after the 2021-2022 season. He will test free agency, meaning the Blue Jackets might look to shop him now to salvage value. It’s expected he will be dealt this offseason. But Seth Jones is a name the NY Rangers should avoid at all costs.

There is no fit

As much as we all love the next big name out there, the Rangers don’t have a need on defense. Especially not on right defense. The Rangers have Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox solidified in their roles for the (likely) long term. They have a choice between Nils Lundkvist and Braden Schneider, both of whom are expected to be legit NHL players. There’s also Hunter Skinner, but he’s a few levels down from Lundkvist and Schneider.

While Jones’ contract is easily manageable at $5.4 million for next year, the timing isn’t right either. The Rangers aren’t set to be a true Cup contender next year. It should be their first playoff appearance since the rebuild. But that doesn’t mean Jones is going to be a guy that puts them over the edge.

There’s also the trade cost and his next contract to consider. The Blue Jackets (note: JD) will need to nail that trade, even if Jones is a rental. That’s going to be at least a draft pick or two and a piece you don’t want to part with. Then there’s his next deal, which could be in the Trouba range.

He’s really not that good

Seth Jones might be wildly overrated. His point totals have decreased each of the past three seasons. To be fair, his 30 points in 2019-2020 and 28 points in 2021 were on pace with his 45 points from 2018-2019, but is that worth roster players and $5.4 million?

When watching Jones, it’s very easy to see the offensive talent. He moves the puck well, he is a smooth skater, and he sees the ice well. He’s fantastic with breakouts. I don’t think anyone is challenging his talent.

The issue is Jones struggles away from the puck. Jones loves his his physical play. That’s great. But he also takes himself out of position when he does so, and rarely does this lead to an actual turnover. This is the kind of physical play that we generally get frustrated with Brendan Smith about. Being physical just to be physical doesn’t help if you aren’t creating turnovers.

It’s easy to chalk this up to ice time and opposition faced, but this was actually reviewed by JFresh, and I want to call out a specific piece here.

But let’s actually dig into Jones’ usage a bit. Seth Jones played the 7th most minutes per game among defencemen this season. But it might surprise you to learn that according to PuckIQ, Jones actually wasn’t deployed against top competition that much, ranking 66th in that category. In terms of time against top competition as a percentage of ice time, Jones ranked 139th out of 233, 5th among Jackets defencemen.

The TOI shows trust, but it appeared Jones was mostly getting offensive trust. This plays into the massive defensive struggles that have been noted above. In the right system with the right team, that might work. But with the Rangers, it won’t.

Money and assets better spent elsewhere

For the Rangers, if they are to make a splash for grit, they are better off spending money and assets elsewhere. If the Rangers are looking at Seth Jones, it would be a massive waste of acquisition cost that could be used to address a bigger roster issue. Defense just isn’t a need for them.

The kind of cost for Jones might require assets that the Rangers would use to land Jack Eichel or another big fish center. Chris Drury has a plan, and Jones would be a deviation from the plan. He’s just not a fit for the Rangers.

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  • No on Smith and HELL NO on Eichel. With the league freezing the cap for 5 years they would just be deals that are poorly and hold us back.

  • Agreed. Thankfully we have high end defence coming to join out top 4 so not a position of need. Use the prospects to upgrade Center position.

  • Unsure he was ever even considered. Look for Toronto to be a bit more active as there needs to be some changes to the Maple Leafs. How they lose to Montreal does not sit well in Toronto. I doubt the coach gets fired, but they may look at making some moves.

  • No to Jones. No to Eichel. And before it even starts, no to Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews.

    • For the right price, I would take Mathews in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, he will not be traded and the cost would be even more ridiculous than Eichel, who we really don’t need. Move on to something that actually makes sense.

      • I guarantee you Matthews will be linked to the Rangers in this offseason. And why wouldn’t he be? Especially with clownboy Dolan looking to bring starpower into the Ranger mix. And I didn’t say anything about a need for Matthews, just that it’ll be inevitable that trade rumors will surround him soon and by extension NYR.

      • Marner or Matthews or Nylander – I would take any one of them in a heartbeat. Subtract Strome and LaFren and a defensive prospect and a first rounder and GET THIS DONE!

        • They’re not trading Nylander. He just had a great playoff for them, and is under an affordable contract commensurate with his production. Mitch Marner is possibly the most overpaid player in the NHL. Not to mention a total playoff failure in his career.

          Matthews is a slightly better version of Zib, who costs $6.25 million more annually than Zibby. Not only no thanks, but no freaking way should either of the M & M boys be part of the Rangers.

          • We are not a playoff team! We need to add players. Zibby, Strome, Panarin and Buch did not help us make the playoffs. We need a STUD. Keep thinking that we are a few rookie steps up to be a contender. We are just in the bottom 16 of the league.

          • Auston Matthews? A generational talent who is 23 years-old is not just slightly better than Zibanejad, he is simply one of the best. If Toronto was actually going to trade him anyone would listen or if he was a free agent people will bid for him. But, why on earth would they move him?

            I agree, the Rangers would be mentioned, however I doubt that Matthews goes anywhere. Toronto will keep him somehow. Zibanejad is likely re-signed by the Rangers and that will be fine.

          • Auston Matthews is really only slightly better than Zibanejad. In the last 3 seasons the only one where Matthews truly outperformed Zib was this one. Or to put it another way, here are their offensive totals over the last 3 seasons:

            Matthews: 125 goals, 94 assists for 219 points in 190 games played

            Zibanejad: 95 goals, 104 assists for 199 points in 205 games played

            Is that difference worth $6.25 million more? Matthews is younger, the better goalscorer, and they’re even as playmakers—but I’d give the defensive edge to Zib. Plus Matthews is already half-ruined mentally by his years in Toronto. Can’t call Matthews one of the best in the game when he’s continuously failed in the playoffs.

          • Matthews is a lot younger, 6 years younger. That is a huge difference. And I doubt he is ruined either. C’mon man! Connor McDavid is clearly the best in the game, yet he is stuck in Edmonton like Matthews is stuck in Toronto. Team failures do not always translate into individual failures. Would anyone call McDavid a failure? I doubt it.

        • I hope you’re joking about moving Lafreniere — a 1st pick that has both great skill and the requisite grit required to be very successful in the NHL … and that’s aside from the fact that he’s still on an ELC for 2 more years. Then just to add insult to injury you want to throw in Strome, a defensive prospect (good thing you didn’t name which one, it would probably only make things worse) AND a 1st rounder.

          • tanto, I do not understand this insistence that Lafreniere cannot be traded. If Edmonton offered McDavid and two first rounders, would you really laugh at their insolence?

            I absolutely agree with the idea that one should assign a very high trade value to him. His pedigree and the fact that he is cost controlled means that he should net a lot in return and if you can’t get that, no, you don’t trade him.

            However, he does not appear to be a generational talent. He is projected to be a useful piece of future Ranger teams, but is only one of many useful pieces. The Rangers already have two good top six left wings under contract and so he is far from being a vital piece. It seems quite possible that some team will give the Rangers more to obtain him than he is worth to the Rangers.

            I think your feelings here are irrational. Laf is projected to be a future star. You are excited about him and invested in him and don’t want to lose that. Assuming Jack Hughes and Lafreniere were dead equal players (and I am assuming, not contending), you would not want to swap because of sentimentality even though it would be a good trade as Hughes plays a more useful position for the Rangers.

            **************

            The trade proposed is not so crazy. Matthews is a generational talent and is only 23. The Rangers would need to get rid of Strome to make the cap and roster work anyway – and his trade value is not that high.

  • Need to really get out of that “not ready to contend” mode. Goal is to make playoffs every year and once in, you’re trying to win it all. Fans who comment about this team and that teams “window” are clueless. That’s why JD and Gorton are gone.I agree there should be no interest in Jones, but stop thinking that changes aren’t needed. Not just the stupid grit comments. Eichel will be a target. Same for Monahan. Another name to watch is Boeser. Not a C, but a rugged, right shot goal scorer who would be a great fit on 2nd line if we can’t upgrade from Strome

    • No thanks to all your proposed targets. Eichel’s injured/too expensive, Monohan just had hip surgery and has been in a steep decline the last 2 seasons, and Boeser plays a position where the Rangers are already overstocked.

    • Your first four sentences are spot on.

      However, I do think it would be unfortunate if everyone was a target. Drury needs to first decide who out there is really worth having and stay away from the rest. I for one wouldn’t give a seventh round draft choice for Eichel. Taking on a $10M contract for a physically suspect player seems like a huge gamble which, coupled with two other mistakes could torpedo the rebuild (you can afford to have bad contracts, just not too many). And at his best, he is not a McDavid or a Panarin.

  • When Jones was drafted I pegged him as the next James Patrick and that’s exactly what he’s become. A smooth skating 2nd pair D without a mean bone in his body.

  • No need to even consider this guy. We need a cheaper and grittier vet, not from losing team like CBJ

  • Seth Jones has some good qualities that the Rangers could use but IMO is not the right player to add. When we talk about the makeup of this Ranger team; as much as we like certain players, some of them need to be traded to build a playoff ready team. There is no way that the current roster has all the ingredients to do this. Zib, Strome, Kreider, Chytil, and even Panarin are not the type of players for post season wins. Perhaps if you intermixed them with players who bring a physical element, the situation may improve. I would expect BIG roster changes this post season.

  • Don’t understand why Lafreniere would be brought up as trade bait. He has shown in a small sample what no other Ranger on the roster ever did, except Fox and maybe Shester. He is an untapped source of raw hockey instinct and talent, he is a natural. We can’t even guess his ceiling yet.

  • Besides the obvious need for “grit”, the one thing that no one speaks about or not often enough is this team lacks are bonafide, world-class leaders and winners. Forget Mathews, Eichel, etc. Do we remember how hard it was to win that one Cup in 94? Even with leaders and proven winners like Mess, Lowe, Tikkanen, MacT, Anderson, Gilbert, etc…it took everything and more to win.

    This team lacks leadership that can teach the young players how to win and their focus, in my opinion, needs to be on these types of players. Forget about adding the next shiny toy and focus on gritty, winning players to help this core and we will get there. It will still take a while but to win 16 games in May/June, you need a complete team rather than players who have failed or not delivered elsewhere. My 2 cents.

  • The Rangers are knee deep in tier 1 defenseman prospects. They also have Fox, Lindgren and Troubs patrolling their Blueline. Pass on Seth. The Rangers could use a reliable 3rd pair dman to work with the rookies. I think Smitty would be a good fit there, on a reasonable term.

  • As a die hard hard NY Rangers fan, i would just like to say that i LOATHE ythe rest of you NY fans. Some of you are no better than that P.O.S Dolan. You people drive me nuts.

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