Blue Jackets' Jones won't re-sign right now, willing to test free agency

Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones, left, celebrates with forward Boone Jenner after Jones' overtime goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Paul Vernon/AP)

The Columbus Blue Jackets may have to add another item on their off-season to-do list.

Defenceman Seth Jones is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021-22 season, and while both sides have engaged in talks over an extension, it's not a given that he'll remain in Columbus beyond the next campaign.

"We can tell you that sometime in the last week or so, Seth Jones informed the Columbus Blue Jackets that he will not be re-signing," said Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. "Now I'm saying for now at this point 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."

Jones' contract, which carries an average-annual value of $5.4 million, includes a modified no-trade clause, according to CapFriendly.

The 26-year-old blue liner registered five goals and 23 assists in 56 games this past season with the Blue Jackets.

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