NHL Rumors: Blackhawks after Seth Jones, and Rick Tocchet expected to be named Seattle Kraken head coach

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Mar 20, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) takes a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks have a busy offseason ahead as they continue with their rebuild. They may be looking to expedite that process by either targeting Dougie Hamilton in a trade and sign deal. Another option, that aligns better with a rebuild is trading for Seth Jones.

Blackhawks after Seth Jones

In late May, Seth Jones informed the Columbus Blue Jackets he will be testing the Free Agent Market next summer. “In the last week or so, Seth Jones informed the Columbus Blue Jackets that he will not be re-signing,” Elliotte Friedman said on Saturday Headlines. “I am saying for now because I don’t like to deal in absolutes, but it does appear as if he is prepared to test free agency and we’ll see how Columbus decides to handle this over the next little while.”

nhl rumors seth jones
Oct 12, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) skates against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

How the Jackets have decided to handle this is to put Jones on the trade block and have a move done by the NHL Draft on July 23rd. Several teams are said to be in on the 26 year-old defenseman with the Kings and Flyers being considered the top two destinations.

A new report out is indicating that the Blackhawks are going to make a run for him too. Chicago certainly has the assets to get a deal done. One thing is certain, Jones will be wearing a new uniform come next season.

According to a source, the Blackhawks are going to explore adding Hamilton or Jones this offseason. “We like them both,” a source said. “Hamilton is more of an offensive defenseman. Jones is probably more of a two-way defenseman.” One league source thought it would take at least a first-round draft pick, a second-round draft pick and a high-end prospect.

The Athletic

Rick Tocchet expected to be named Seattle Kraken head coach

nhl rumors rick tocchet kraken
Mar 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet during the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets promoted from within when they hired Brad Larsen to be their next head coach. The New York Rangers landed the biggest available fish in Gerard Gallant. Yesterday, Rod Brind’Amour did what everyone expected and stayed with the Carolina Hurricanes.

That leaves Rick Tocchet to be the Seattle Kraken’s first head coach. It’s almost seems like Ron Francis is having to settle, but in reality Seattle is getting one hell of a consolation prize.

According to Friedman, Tocchet is scheduled for a third meeting with the Kraken. I believe it is to hammer out contract details and to finalize the deal.

The 57 year-old former NHL power forward took the reins as head coach of the Coyotes back in the 2017-2018 season and did an admirable job. He is widely considered an up and coming coach who knows how to relate to his players. He’s the perfect bench boss to lead a new franchise.