July 1 came and went, and the Jackets are mostly the same roster, despite heavy rumors of big acquisitions. There were rumors of Frans Nielsen and David Backes (per Rob Mixer), Eric Staal (per Eklund and Kevin Allen), Sam Gagner (per Hockey Press and Eklund), and Jason Demers and Dan Hamhius (per Michael Grosso).
Nielsen, Backes, and Demers took long term deals with lots of salary. Hamhius and Staal took discounts but are still being paid. Gagner is still unsigned, but was being paid a boatload.
Instead, the Jackets signed centers Dante Salituro and Pierre-Luc Dubois to entry level contracts. Both add to the depth down the middle which the Jackets desperately need without the risk of spending big money.
They also bought out the contracts of Fedor Tyutin (now on Colorado) and Jared Boll, and extended Seth Jones to a six year deal ($5.4 million per season)
Jones' new deal will benefit the Jackets now and later. He is a young talented defenseman, and will be a the number one guy in Columbus soon. He will grow into the contract and it will become a steal. Plus, he has helped Ryan Murray, and could help him develop into a number two.
Seth Jones, like Brandon Saad, proved his value in one place, and got paid the big bucks in Columbus. In Nashville, he proved to be a number one defenseman when Shea Weber (now on Montréal) was injured during the first round against Chicago. I thought he was going to receive a 6 year, $6 million per contract, but this is close.
What are your thoughts on the young Jackets players?
More to come…