Offseason

Exploring Jacob Trouba to the Rangers again, and the non-Chris Kreider method of making a trade work

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Rangers need blue line help. After a week of talking non-stop about the second overall pick and Kaapo Kakko, it’s time to shift gears and chat about the other holes the Rangers need to fix this summer if they truly want to accelerate this rebuild. The biggest issue is on the blue line and finding a potential stud defenseman.

Enough Erik Karlsson talk, since he’s the only big name available on the trade market that moves the needle. If the Rangers want to make a splash on defense, and they choose Artemi Panarin over Karlsson, then they will need to do so via trade.

Jacob Trouba has been the guy that has been talked about for some time. I honestly have no idea if Winnipeg is actively looking to trade him, but the rumors are that Trouba wants out. At 25 years old and coming off his one year, $5.5 million deal, his next contract could be pretty big. With Dustin Byfuglien taking that 1RD spot when healthy, Trouba isn’t seeing top minutes. Again though, that’s when Byfuglien is healthy. A smart Winnipeg team looks to trade him, and not Trouba, who put up 8-42-50 this year. If he is traded, the cost to acquire him would be high, even if there’s a chance he’s only a one-year rental before hitting unrestricted free agency.

It’s been talked about that Chris Kreider could be the bait there, especially with Kakko and potentially Panarin in the fold. It makes logical sense in a vacuum, although I have no idea if Kreider for Trouba is something that makes sense in terms of actual value (You know nothing, Jon Snow). They both could be, for all intents and purposes, one-year rentals before hitting unrestricted free agency. Kreider’s $4.625 million would be less than Trouba’s expected greater than $6 million deal, which helps Winnipeg a great deal (more on that below). It gives the Jets another top-six forward to help them stay relevant in the West, and it gives the Rangers their much needed 1RD without impacting their available cap room that much.

The wild card is Winnipeg’s cap crunch, needing to re-sign both Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor –and fill out their roster– with about $26 million in cap space. Laine and Connor likely take up more than half of that space. The Blueshirts, with oodles of cap space, can use it to take on Mathieu Perrault and his $4.125 million with Trouba in exchange for something lesser than Kreider. After all, Winnipeg needs to fill out that roster. Does something like Jimmy Vesey (or Ryan Strome), Neal Pionk, and their 1st rounder back move the needle for Trouba and Perrault? Likely not (It seems light to me), but it might get the conversation started (I’ve realized I know nothing about trade value). In this scenario, the Jets get some much needed depth and some futures, but definitely take a step back in top-end talent on the blue line.

Cap space is a fickle thing, especially when you have over $4 million tied up in what is basically a 4C going forward. But it’s not like Perrault is useless. Overpaid definitely, but that doesn’t really matter for the Blueshirts at the moment. Vesey produces more points at even strength, but Perrault still put up 15 goals, so it’s closer than you think. Perrault’s assists are mostly secondary, which can lead to more fluctuation and perhaps fewer assists next season, but he more than makes up for it in his relative xGF% (5.19, compared to -1.83 for Vesey). The Blueshirts would be sacrificing a little more offense for better play away from the puck, an area which Vesey struggles mightily. With Kappo and the long rumored Panarin in tow, it’s unlikely the offense would be missed.

My assumption, though, is that the Rangers would need to add to this. They’d need to add a potential middle six prospect. Brett Howden instantly comes to mind. After his hot start he looked out of place and not NHL ready, but the talent is certainly still there. Howden is also on the outside looking in when it comes to future centers, with Mika Zibanejad, Filip Chytil, and Lias Andersson possibly taking the 1-2-3 roles. With Perrault coming in this hypothetical, all of a sudden there’s a crowding issue. Does Vesey, Howden, Pionk, and Winnipeg’s 1st back for Trouba/Perrault move the needle? Is it an overpayment? Is it a classic case of quantity over quality? It’s tough to gauge, but there’s certainly a framework that might make sense for both teams. However for the Rangers this also takes for granted a massive assumption that Panarin is coming to New York.

Even with Trouba in the fold in this hypothetical, the Rangers would still have a lot of questions about the blue line. He’s slide right into that top pairing, likely with Brady Skjei. But that leaves the 2LD spot to Marc Staal, which is less than ideal even if he did look somewhat decent with Tony DeAngelo. Libor Hajek might be the 3LD if that stint wasn’t a fluke, paired with Kevin Shattenkirk or Brendan Smith. It’s definitely an upgrade, and teams have won with worse, but it’s not ideal. If the Blueshirts are able to get Trouba without sacrificing Kreider –or any of the other major prospects that don’t really need to be named anymore– then it’s a big win and big step in the right direction of acceleration.

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28 Comments

  1. First I’d want to talk to Jake to see if he wants to play here, or are we spinning our wheels?
    Second I’d want to know at what term, which more than likely can be worked out.
    Someone mentioned that his wife is a physician, and has a potential residency position at a New York hospital, this if true bodes well for us, and them.

    The Jets are going to be tight on cap space, and like mentioned in the thread, need bodies to fill in the open slots. We can provide them with their #1 back, Pionk, and Strome. They get back a right d-man, a good versatile forward that can slot into many roles if the need arises, and a #1 pick in a deep draft. The Jets have to realize that they are going to lose Jake in the very near future, why not maximize their return? I would never give up the shopping list proposed for Jake, as good as he is, for a rental. Either we get a long term commitment from him to stay, or there is no trade!!!!

    I suspect we are sitting in the cats chair in this scenario!!!!!!!

  2. Lias is not an NHL hockey player. Howden is. Trouba is good but I would not give them 4 pieces for him or even 3. He walks after the next season.

  3. It comes down to 2 things… leverage and sign-ability…

    If the Rangers have the leverage where it’s rumored Trouba’s doctor wife is hot for NY then we hold the cards. So your above trade proposal could be over payment.

    And, I don’t think you make the trade now unless Trouba agrees to a contract….

    Really, do we have to trade for this guy, give up assets and hope he signs… can we just wait another year til he’s a UFA. That makes more sense IMO.

    1. I’m sure if the jets are willing to trade him they are willing to allow teams to discuss extension. I wouldn’t assume he will Be a UFA in a year.

    2. I agree, this is year 2 upcoming, we have to see how the youngsters continue to develop, plus we are n to winning the Cup next year, probably not even the PO. Everyone, including Dave, needs to get used to this idea. Then, it will be time for FA signings to complement what Gorton has built. Just because the season is over, does not mean that we still should not practice patience.

      Patience!

  4. i would trade Shattenkirk,Vesey and send back their no.1 and our lowest 2nd rounder for Trouba and sub Perrault for Lowery..

  5. I’d like to see Trouba in a Rangers’ sweater, but only at the right price. I have a feeling there may be more wheeling and dealing done before we get around to a deal for him, though. If not, Pionk, Vesey, Namestnikov plus a second round pick for him works for me.

  6. Ugh Dave, just UGH! In keeping with the GoT theme, “I used to think you were the cleverest man alive.” (Queen of the North, Sansa Stark to Tyrion, the half-man monkey demon who would be hand). Well not really Dave, but normally I like your way of thinking. This Trouba love is just all too much. If Kreider doesn’t want to “extend” here then just trade him, sooner rather than later. Get some prospects and be done with it. You’re trying too hard to get Trouba here, let him play his last season “wherever”. You want him so badly grab him next year in free agency.

    Look, we have a lot of defensive assets coming down the pike, let’s stay the course. The defense will be completely overhauled in 2 years, patience. Why pay premium prices when you can get the shiny toy on sale in 14.5 months? Besides, the best thing we can do over the summer is find a way to cut our losses with Smith, Shattenkirk or Staal (preferably the latter 2). Find a partner to dance with and retain half salary (if necessary), if both balk at a trade then just live with it. If Sansa could put up with Ramsey raping her every night for a year or two, then we can wait for the situation to resolve itself naturally.

  7. If the Rangers are going to try to land a young defenseman, then Trouba would definitely be someone to consider if Winnipeg is looking to move him. (I would not be so sure that they are because he is playing Ryan McDonugh minutes for them and hit 50 points in the regular season, but I digress.) The kid has all the skill they need and is only 25. If they could land him in a trade without trading their most valuable assets, and if they were guaranteed to sign him, then yeah, he is someone they could spring for and he would make far more sense than Karlsson.

    That all being said, I am not advocating that they go out and do this. They do have young defensemen in the pipeline. I am only saying that if they are dead set on getting one from outside the organization, Trouba would have to be a target.

    1. Thing is the Jets aren’t morons. They know Trouba is on everyone’s wish list. The price will always be too high in trade. Anyone advocating we go out and get Trouba that way is just deluding themselves that we can bear the cost at this stage of the rebuild … or they’re deluding themselves if they think the Jets will take a couple of mediocre pieces. They’ll probably want at least 2 cost controlled prized prospects and a #1.

      I’m all in favor of speeding the rebuild process up but not at the cost of any potential elite prospect. I would rather toss Carolina a 2nd or 3rd rounder for Fox’s rights and grab him a year early than pay through the nose for Trouba, a year early.

      1. If the Jets were geniuses, they wouldn’t be in this predicament for the 2nd time in 3 seasons.

        1. There’s a long road between moron and genius … the predicament they’re in is called Winnipeg. Who wants to be there voluntarily?

        2. if you draft and develop well this spot is inevitable. where do you see the Rangers in 2-3 years when all your recent first round picks are coming off entry level deals? or do you not have confidence in those picks?

  8. Skjei with Trouba would be a disaster, as the former needs a stay at home in order to free his mind in the decision making process.

    Byfuglien woud be interesting if: A: the Rangers are on the list of teams he’ll be traded to and B: The Rangers will have replacements in place after the expansion draft because they’ll be blowing out most of the D corps at that point.

    Big Buff might only wear the A, but he runs the locker room. He’d be an interesting add to the team; an enforcer who lays down the law without necessarily dropping the gloves.

    But with Buff coming over, you’d have 4D coming off contract after the expansion draft and 12 D under contract through the whole system. Out of the 9 on the reserve list, maybe 3 or 4 have a legit chance to be competing for a spot at camp in the 21-22 season. So you’re looking at a team with no margin for error putting together a D.

    1. I’m trying to understand this in relation to the upcoming expansion draft… Correct me if I’m wrong but with Shattenkirk, Smith, Staal coming off the books you hinted that the Rangers would be hard pressed to have the proper number of competent defensemen to protect, so in reality Skeij must be protected even with that crappy salary, as you said our margin for error is limited.

      But in theory, aren’t the Rangers in a good spot, especially if they retain cap space, to pluck above average d-men from teams that are probably going to lose them in the expansion draft for very reasonable assets (lower draft picks and marginal young prospects).

      I’m no expert and I might off base here, but if we can manipulate the system a little, like Vegas did, and maybe grab a really good d-man or two then Skeij won’t need to be protected, Seattle would probably stay away with that salary.

      1. Assuming the Rangers re-sign ADA, Claesson & Pionk, the Rangers would have 4 D under contract in the NHL and 2 RFA’s in Hajek & Day.

        Nobody in their right mind is protecting Pionk or Claesson, so barring some real progression by Day the next 2 years, you’re looking at protecting. Skjei, ADA & Hajek.

        Your idea of dangling futures for a player they’d lose otherwise is solid, not sure you’ll get that as a primary driver for a team to lose a defender now, that’s more a tertiary concern.

  9. Trouba is a nice player, but we need something more important than Trouba. We need to shed some Shatty or Smith contract money and get a coach who has aa Goo system. Look at the Isles. They do not have a super star, but they play a strong system under a good defensive coach. We need kids and a new coach.

  10. Meanwhile in the playoffs, Torts looks like he just might sweep the Bolts…JeezusHChristmas, they play at home against the Bolts Tuesday.

    In the battle between the who does one despise more teams, the Isles are looking to sweep the Penguins. Because the Isles don’t have any of the long hated players on their team and the Penguins do, I guess I’d root for the Isles to sweep..then lose ignominiously in the next round!

    1. I can’t bring myself to root for the Islanders against anybody … and as much as I hate the Pens, it will be satisfying enough for me that they just don’t win the Cup or get close to it. With Crosby, Malkin, etc. their goal every year is to truly compete for the Cup, so losing in the 2nd round is a big enough slap in the face for them, especially considering the trades they made at the deadline to ensure another run.

    2. The Bolts Nation is shellshocked believe

      Torts is doing a great job with these guys. He is the one thing I was concerned about going in.

  11. So AV lands in Philly? Just by the types of teams hes coached in the past, this has disaster written all over it. How will AV’s so called “disdain” for the less gentlemanly aspects of the game, go over in Flyertown? Then again, maybe he does a reversal,and learns from his mistakes in NY. I can’t see a Flyer crowd accepting a team that only plays “whistle to whistle,” as AV so aptly put it. I guess the fourth line guys in Philly are doing cartwheels!

  12. And Hartford fires McCambridge.

    He didn’t have a lot to work with, but you can’t rack up a record like that and keep your job.

    The funny thing was that after they dealt their captain, the team went on a pretty good run of games until they signed and played Huska. He needed to play for sure, but it didn’t help him either.

    The Rangers really need to put resources towards coaching up the coaches, on top of the minor teams and prospects. I know it’s gotten better over the last year or two, but they’re just starting from so far back. The players who went to Maine came back productive players and were productive when sent down.

  13. A little example of how front loading contracts is a competitive advantage the Rangers can use.

    A few days back I put out a framework for a Panarin contract that was heavily front loaded & bonus driven at $11mm AAV.

    The difference between a bonus driven contract and a one with regular payments is an extra $450k/season. Over 30 years, that becomes an extra $2.134mm for that 1st season alone.

    If you did the bonus structure, he’d make $105-6mm over the life of the contract via future value of money versus $92-95mm on a contract that paid out $11mm annually via VFM.

    To really get exact numbers, I’d have to write out a spreadsheet to account for pay periods and the monthly compound interest

  14. sorry fellas, every year fans of teams think they can take advantage of another teams cap situation and it never turns out that way. Trouba is a top pairing young right shot D coming off a 50 point season. We wouldn’t be trading him for anything less that what you got for McDonagh who was also 1 year away from UFA status, had less points and was older. Jets wont be re signing Myers, Hayes probably going home to boston and we can bridge Trouba and Connor, the cap situation is never as dire as fans make it out to be. We can also buyout Kulikov and trade Perreault at the draft for a 3rd or 4th easy.

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