Irresponsible Rumormongering

Following arbitration, Jacob Trouba should be a must-inquire

The Winnipeg Jets have a problem. Jacob Trouba wants out. He held out two years ago as Kevin Cheveldayoff played hardball. Both were within their right to do so. It ended with a trade request in the middle of a two-year bridge deal. The trade never happened.

The deal expired, and then Trouba and the Jets did something that isn’t all that common in the NHL. They actually went to arbitration. The NHL’s version of arbitration is silly, with both sides submitting absurd amounts, followed by the team trashing the player to get the cost down. It almost always winds up in the middle ground of a one-year deal. Shocker, that’s what happened. Trouba has a one year deal at $5.5 million. He will again be a RFA at the end of the year.

Trouba is not on the top pair in Winnipeg because of Dustin Byfuglien. So the Jets are paying $5.5 million for a second pairing defenseman, at least based on their current deployment. But don’t let that fool you. Trouba is a top pairing defenseman.

In virtually every stat, Trouba produces like a top pairing defenseman. Yet he will likely never be on the top pair as long as Byfuglien is on the team. In fact, it took his holdout and his trade demand for the team to even move him ahead of Tyler Myers in the lineup, of whom he is significantly better.

The previous asking price for Trouba was a LD of equal quality, so that would be Brady Skjei as the starting point. More would need to be added, since Trouba is an established top pairing, and borderline elite, defenseman. Skjei isn’t that, but it’s a starting point. That was before the arbitration, though.

All this said, it is highly unlikely that Trouba is traded in this situation. The Jets have little leverage in the trade market, as every NHL GM has seen what has happened with Trouba in Winnipeg. The more likely scenario is that Myers is let go after this season, and Trouba assumes an even larger role.

Unless the Jets’ social media account continues to throw shade, though.

They seem slightly less excited to re-sign a top player as they do for several role players. It just makes you wonder.

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  • I love Jake’s game, and would trade for him if we get an extension up front.

    Having said that, his history is starting to bother me in that he has held out twice, whats to say he won’t again? He also has a history of injuries, hasn’t played an entire season yet. The guy is from Michigan, he may want to go home, and play for the Wings??????

    Now that I just expressed my feelings against the possibility of trading for the man, I’d still do it in a heart beat, all depending on the cost!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jacob is worth the risk bro. He would be even better than McD when McD was playing his best. That’s saying something.

      • I don’t see JG aggressively acting on this, sorry man. If he does end up getting traded than it will be to a contender that feels like he’s worth the risk.

        • I will tell you that Trouba and Panarin are both targets of Gorton. But within parameters, meaning that Gorton is not mortgaging the farm to get them, which in unSather like.

          So while they are Ranger targets and on their wishl ist, it doesn’t mean that they will be acquired by the Rangers. But trust me, those 2 players our on the Rangers’ radar.

          • I know Panarin is but that comes with the cards falling in place to get him. I think they’re big time buyers if he makes it to free agency and ready to talk to teams for his new contract. Unfortunately Toronto is San Jose want him, I could see both clubs meeting his demands at all cost and him falling in love with the direction and destination’s of those teams

            I don’t think that the Rangers were ever in serious contention in the Trouba sweepstakes. I still don’t think that they are now for a few reasons, sorry.

          • Being “in on a player” and getting that player are 2 way different things.

            The Rangers were in on Kovy, then got a 3 year offer and the Rangers walked away.

            The Rangers were (and may still be) in on Karlsson but walked away when the trade cost was too high.

            Same for Trouba.

            It may be the same for Panarin.

            The big difference between Sather and Gorton is that Gorton knows when to walk away while Sather would bid against himself just to get the player he wanted.

            I like Gorton’s approach much better.

    • Me too Walt. I would certainly look to acquire Trouba from WPG. I don’t know trading Skjei to do it makes us better. I would really love to have a Skjei/Trouba top D pair. That would give us a pair of D with a little bit of everything. Both skate real well. Both contribute at both ends of the ice. More important tho is both can move the puck up ice and enter the Offensive end without coughing up the puck.

  • “Following arbitration, Jacob Trouba should be a must-inquire”

    Oh, the Rangers have, this year, last year, the year before, and going forward. Trouba has been the Rangers #1 target for a long time.

    The problem is that Chevy is in the driver’s seat and very tough to deal with. The Jets have a lot of prospects waiting in the wings, so what do you give them? I have always thought a lefty center like Hayes, to start.

    The other problem is that 30 teams will be in on this, which drives up the trade cost tremendously.

    I have been on the Trouba bandwagon for 3 years but it may just be a pipe dream as he’s still an RFA next year. But he’s a top D man in the league and it would be great for the Rangers to get him. Sigh…

  • If Skjei has a bounce back year (which he is capable of) under Quine, dreams of Trouba should fade out somewhat. Though an excellent player, he wasn’t that much of a tremendous force at all, against the Golden Knights in the playoffs. Asking price will be way to high. We have some very good young D-men on the pipeline. Stick to the program!

  • Trouba is going to want at least 7 million per long term to sign when a UFA. It is not going to make sense for the Rangers now to give up two top player/prospects to trade for Jake. And it’s not clear that he wants out, just that he wants to get paid. The Jets are in go for the Cup/win now mode. If they decide to trade him this year it is going to be for a somewhat comparable player, not for prospects and/or potential (Skjei) that the Rangers can offer.

    I know it’s tough to come up with story lines this time of year but the Rangers will not be in on Trouba. They don’t have what it will take and it probably doesn’t make sense anyway. JG needs to stay the course – which he has given every indication he intends to.

    • Trouba has been on the record saying that Winnipeg is the place to be and where he wants to play.

      I just don’t see JG wanting this badly enough or at all to pull any trigger. We might see a couple articles from Blueline station talking about possibility for trading for him but that’s about it. The culture over here is going to be a team first and Trouba doesn’t seem to fit that profile.

      • This statement seems contradictory. You say has declared in the past that Winnipeg is where he wants to play…but then you say the culture for the Rangers will be team first, and he doesn’t seem to fit that. Those two statements to not seem to fit together.

        • What?

          Trouba is a diva who wants all the stars align for him in order to get comfortable and wants to get paid as a top pair= not a team player

          People like Hayes, Buch and Vesey shut up, play their role and don’t threaten the club that they’re out if they can’t play here or there= team player

          JG doesn’t dig that kind of stuff. Do you remember when BB wanted a bigger role or Cally wanted a NTC attached to his contract? I don’t see any contradiction in what I said with my original comment. I blatantly pointed out to the fact that he tried to press Winnipeg’ s hand to which side and pair he wanted to play on and now how much his worth his ( injury bug). It didn’t mean that he wanted to physically bail on his team. You can be a none team player and still want to play for that club, it just meant that he was difficult to please.

          • “Trouba has been on the record saying that Winnipeg is the place to be and where he wants to play.”

            “The culture over here is going to be a team first and Trouba doesn’t seem to fit that profile.”

            Those are quotes from your post above. They seem contradictory, to me. He wants to be there, wants to play there…but isn’t a team player? Did you see the chart Dave posted? That is indeed first pair material territory.

            An arbitrator just gave him $5.5M per, so $7M isn’t a long way away for him. Had WPG cut him loose, I bet he’d be talking about $7M per deals with multiple teams right now. In arbitration, of course the player/his agent asks a lot if he is confident in his case. If the player/his agent isn’t confident in his case, then it doesn’t actually go to the arbitrator. Asking what you can reasonably illustrate you may be worth is no crime.

          • Not being a team player doesn’t mean someone doesn’t want to physically or emotionally not be there for the team. Drama= that like Sean Avery. You just have your own set of opinions on what team player stands for. I think you need to expand your thoughts on what that term really means. If you want to see some real life examples of that than look no further to this.

            1.Sedin twins didn’t like to take bumps in the corners or block many shots for their team. So are you sticking to your theory that it doesn’t add up to being a team player because they still stayed there. By your thinking, they should have left the city of Vancouver way before they retired.

            2.Dougie Hamilton in Calgary got accused of not being a team player off the ice. It seemed like he was cool with playing for the Flames team. He didn’t want that stereotype label like some athletes get being away from the rink, court or field.

            I don’t know how far I can stretch this discussion but either way I don’t agree with your views. Trouba isn’t a team player, he has had one to many run ins with Winnipeg about where he has to play and threatening to leave. That smells like a future disaster that JG imo won’t take a chance on.

  • Emerging from summer hideout to say: no thanks to Jake Trouba. Too fragile—only one full slate of games in five NHL seasons. Too expensive—an annual $7 million for this player is insanity, he’s had only one really good season in his career. And lastly he was invisible most nights in the Jets’ playoff run, particularly against Vegas.

    Asset-wise Trouba will be far too expensive to acquire (and that is before his next pay raise is even factored into the Rangers’ cap situation), and it’s too soon into the rebuild/restructuring/whatever it is that the Rangers are calling it this week to make a move like this one.

    Righthanded defensemen are overpaid consistently in this league—it’s like lefty relievers in baseball. Overvalued due to relative scarcity. NYR already should’ve learned this lesson with Girardi and Shattenkirk, they don’t need another overpaid guy on this defense at the moment.

    • “Overpaid” in this sense is a non-factor. The market dictates the player values, not what we fans think. Supply and demand sets markets in sports the same as with most any other industry, and as you already noted, RHD who have provided solid performance already in their careers and are either early in their prime or even not to it yet do come at a premium right now in the NHL. Top defensemen are getting $7M+ currently, and in five or six years that rate should look like a bargain if Trouba continues to progress on his current path. (I say “should”, because you never know, with how the NHL is run, how much projected cap increases can be trusted.)

      We could argue about how good Trouba will be in five or six years’ time, sure, and I can’t speak for others of course…but personally, if he came up a Ranger, I’d be pretty darn stoked about his future. The chart Dave posted covers 2016-18, and is gorgeous, simply put. You won’t find many prettier for a defender that age. If one good season in fact does account for the chart, it must have been historically good to overcome the other two; that’s not a small sample. An arbitrator who we can assume has no reason to be biased toward the player awarded him $5.5M at age 23. There is no reason in my eyes to say he won’t be worth $7M not too long from now…and if he had gotten cut loose by WPG a few days ago and was a UFA right now, I think there would be a very good chance he could get $7M.

      One playoff series does not a career make. I wouldn’t worry too much about the fact that he didn’t tangibly dominate Vegas regarding his long-term trajectory/outlook. I don’t recall him being a huge failure/liability in that series personally, just that he didn’t noticeably blow the roof off, either. To disclaim, however, I did not view every second of that series.

      I’m not intimately familiar with his injury history, or if the number of games played we see is a reliable indicator of them all being missed specifically for injury. I do recall an ankle issue and a concussion this past season. I don’t know enough details to confidently tell you regarding Trouba – as I would with Mika, for example – that some players who aren’t necessarily undersized or “soft” just seem to have had a string of bad luck with injuries for a spell. What I can tell you is that in the last four years he played 261 games. For an example from his own team, Byfuglien had a four season stretch once in which he played 256 games. Is Big Buff known as injury prone? If so, I don’t recall that label. I know he certainly is not regarded as soft. Sometimes, shit just happens with injuries.

      He’s definitely going to be expensive to acquire. No debate about that. However, if I’m Jeff Gorton, frankly, that is the only factor I’m focused on as a possible net negative, here. While the defensive pipeline for the Rangers currently has numbers, there isn’t a can’t-miss prospect there. The opportunity to gain a 23-24 year old player who as already performed the way Trouba has does not come along every day. Obviously, you can’t get fleeced in this situation, because of the need for a successful rebuild. You also need that extension in-hand given rumors swirling about the desire Trouba has to play in DET. That said, you gotta give to get, and to me, this is a situation where you have to at least consider giving what it would take if those factors line up and the ask isn’t just obviously unreasonable.

      • Trouba’s missed at least 17 games per year in four out of five NHL seasons. And out of his team’s last 164 reg season games played, Trouba has played in a mere 115. That’s a problem in my book.

  • It’s tough to make a yes/no trade decision without knowing the true asking price. It seems like with Trouba being an RFA again next year, WPG holds all the cards in negotiation.

    That being said, as my Grandma always says… the answer is already no if you don’t ask.

    If you can get him for pennies on the dollar, you do it. If you have to give up Skjei, Top Prospect, 1st rounder for him, you don’t. I’d be VERY surprised if Gorton hasn’t had ongoing conversations with WPG since the deadline last year about Trouba’s availability. The fact that he’s not a Ranger yet, probably means he’s too expensive.

    Which is just fine with me!

  • I would like to apologize to all on this site for ASSUMING WRONGLY you did want to post my comment. Since I am a computer dummy I thought you didn’t want to post my comment. I ask all of you to please forgive my stupidity and lack of computer knowledge. Again I am SORRY AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS!

  • *If* Blake Wheeler wants to go UFA

    *If* Trouba hasn’t been dealt and is looking at another Arbitration hearing

    *If* the Rangers sign Hayes to a cap friendly contract

    *If* Chytil, Andersson & Hayton have great seasons

    *If* the Rangers can work out a long term deal with Trouba with his agent(and Winnipeg’s approval.)

    *Then* you could look at a July 2 2019 deal for Trouba involving Hayes.

    BUT, if Trouba is hell-bent on playing for Detroit, stay way far away.

  • The Rangers have done a great job of preserving their cap space and avoiding temptation. No need to reach for someone now (Trouba, Panarin, etc.) who may or may not be a good fit when we are ready to compete. There will always be options to do so. Best to develop the “youngins”, see what we got, and then go for a big ticket dude to complete the rebuild and try to win the Cup.

    • IMO the difference here is that Trouba and Panarin are not only proven but they are young stars, and neither would be standing in the way of the direction that the Rangers are going in.

      As opposed to past Ranger years where they gave big money to older players.

      • All true, but at what price? Skjei + stuff we would probably not miss won’t get it done for Trouba … and the same argument could be made re: Panarin, say Buchnevich + stuff we would probably not miss won’t happen. The demand for guys like Trouba and Panarin is great enough that the only teams who could afford trading for either are the contending teams with somewhat deep prospect pools — and even those teams appear hesitant to move multiple quality pieces for either. How are we not better off just rolling the dice and waiting 1 year for the new UFA crop?

        I think the best way for us to rebuild is to garner more top prospects by trading guys like Zucc and/or Namestnikov/Spooner when the trade deadline approaches AND to enter the UFA market for top quality 26 or 27 year olds.

        • Totally agree on the trade cost narrative, which is why they probably won’t happen.

          But Panarin could reach FA next year and then it’s a bidding war though it appears like there only a few teams that he would like to play for.

          • Agreed … they need to be careful and not blow all their cap space. The result I would fear most is that a few years down the line they find themselves having to give out “bridge” deals instead of tying up the better younger prospects long term. I think in a lot of cases they have a pretty good handle on whether or not a player is a long term quality NHLer or not. I would rather run the risk of making a mistake like that … instead of signing a lot of bridge deals and then being forced to move a good youngish player because he can’t be afforded.

            In Panarin’s case (or Seguin’s) chances are that contract will replace Hank’s when he retires (if he’s replaced like we all think by Shesty or one of our prospects), so I’m not too worried about 1 BIG contract — they just have to make sure that player really fills a need we haven’t been able to draft (come playoff time — i.e. not like Nasher who I loved as a regular season player his first few years here).

          • Gorton certainly appears to be shying away from long-term contracts.

            Even Shatty got only 4 years.

          • All the more reason for not trading for the man!!!!!!!!!!!

            If he wants here, wait a year and get him for free……….

  • I wanted Trouba ever since I saw him play at Michigan, but at this point the cost is going to be prohibitive …. besides, we have Shattenkirk making big money for 3 more years on the right side. What would make our “situation” all that different from Winnipeg’s?

    • No different. Trouba would be #1 right dman on rangers just like he really is on Jets. Buff, like Shatty is a unique talent, but not a true 1st pair shut down d man. Just not right time for rangers to give up a boatload to trade for Trouba, perhaps for only 2 years.

      Stay the course. See what we have in 2 years and then supplement with a big move utilizing the retained cap space. Resist the urge to pull the trigger too early.

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