Offseason

What will it cost to re-sign Jacob Trouba?

Now that Jacob Trouba is a Ranger, it’s now time to look at locking him up long-term. Trouba is an interesting case because the assumption is that he priced himself out of Winnipeg and demanded a trade. While that is true –he did ask for a trade, but because he wanted his wife to be able to practice as a medical professional, which she couldn’t do in Canada– it’s worth noting that Winnipeg’s cap issues created the crunch, not necessarily Trouba’s demands.

That’s the way the NHL works nowadays. In a cap world, tough decisions are needed and Winnipeg knew they couldn’t re-sign Trouba, regardless of his trade ask, and keep players like Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. So now he’s a Ranger, and has already stated he looks forward to playing in New York for the long-term. The question now is about how much that long-term commitment will cost.

Trouba, 25, will have his next contract buy out a good portion of his UFA years. That’s going to be the expensive part. His agent, Kyle Overhardt, is a notorious hard liner as well. Trouba isn’t going to be cheap, but no great defenseman is going to be cheap.

Per Evolving Wild’s contract projections, Trouba is most likely looking at a 5-6 year deal. That duration allows Trouba one more big contract before he hits his twilight years. For the Rangers, a deal of that length locks him up until his age-30 or age-31 season. It’s a long commitment, but it’s not to an aging player. That length works for both sides.

Cap hit is where things get interesting. EW has Trouba at about a $7.2 million cap hit, which is about 8.7% of the cap ceiling of $83 million. That’s market value, and quite honestly could become a relative bargain if Trouba continues to progress his game as a 1RD and PP1 QB.

Aside: Trouba at $7.2 million does, however, put the Rangers into a situation with Artemi Panarin. There needs to be significant work done in order to fit in Panarin, if that is indeed to be the case this summer. Even if you assume that Kevin Shattenkirk is traded at 50% retained, the Blueshirts would need to move on from two of Jimmy Vesey, Vlad Namestnikov, and Ryan Strome in order to fit in Panarin. It’s doable, of course.

A comparison of other defensemen making 8.7% of the cap ceiling at the time of their contract signing, while signing as a RFA:

  • Cam Fowler (8 years, $6.5 million) – 8.67% of last year’s cap ceiling when deal was signed on July 1, 2017.
  • Dmitry Orlov (6 years, $5.1 million) – 6.8% of the 2017 cap ceiling when signed on July 1, 2017.
  • Esa Lindell (6 years, $5.8 million) – 7.3% of the the 2018-2019 cap ceiling, but this was signed before the 2019-2020 cap ceiling was projected to be $83 million.

The split of defense cap hit percentages is interesting, since there’s a big chunk between 5%-7%, and then there’s a gap before hitting the 10% chunk. It’s safe to say that Trouba is better than the guys listed here, but not on the level of the 10% and higher chunk (Subban, Karlsson, etc). So the 8.7% cap hit is market value.

In the end, you have to pay to keep your prime talent in their prime years. Trouba fits that mold. At $7.2 million, give or take, he’s going to be under 9% of the cap ceiling today, and likely around 6% of the cap ceiling when the deal expires. Market value today could be a bargain by then.

Reminder: Trouba isn’t Leetch.

"What will it cost to re-sign Jacob Trouba?", 5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.
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57 Comments

  1. I will say it again – we see how much Trouba wants to be a NYR based on the deal, the cap hit, and the years.

    I like the 5-6 year range @$7M. Although I abhor NMC’s I would be ok with that if we can keep it to 6 years.

    1. He would make $7m this year if he went to arbitration, he surely isn’t giving up his UFA years for that same amount.

      1. Maybe Gorts should negotiate with his fiancée Tanto?

        Got to keep it under $8M I guess because $7M just doesn’t buy what it used to. Just ask the Flyers.

        1. Yeah, I hear she wants to do her residency at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center … but regardless, he’s not going to settle down for 6-7-8 years at the same number for his last RFA year — between inflation, salary cap creep, etc. I think $8 is the more appropriate number, maybe even a bit more. Hey, when a 2nd line center that’s never scored over 55 points in a season can get over $7m a year, what do you pay a Top Pairing RD that has scored 50?

          1. So you frontload the deal to get him the extra $1mm AAV over the life of the contract without giving it to him in actual monies paid out against the cap. Future value of money is a real thing that the club can take advantage of.

            By doing that, if the Missus needs to practice outside the Tri-State area, you can move him easy peasy.

  2. Kyle Overhardt, like any good agent, let’s the client decide what’s important. Trouba isn’t a child, he knows what he wants — I think that’s been aptly proven of late. I can see a 6-7 years at $8m, maybe even the full 8 years at a little over $8m — that gives the future Dr. Mrs. Trouba plenty of time to develop her career.

    1. I Don’t think they can do 8, at least I hope not. He was not on Rangers roster at trade deadline.

  3. Trouba makes for a more urgent trade scenario for many of the guys you mentioned. The league also is doing the math and know we could be CAP strapped to do what we want to do. I am guessing that Gorton is shopping all the defensemen and Strome, Vesey and Names. Will he get someone to dance with is anyone’s guess.

    IMO, Strome needs to stay, which makes Names and Vesey expendable. We need to open up spots on the wing anyway.

    Gonna be tough squeeze which might make a guy like Krieder move even though we want to keep him

    1. Namestnikov & Vesey need to go so they’re not lost via waivers. The cap savings is gravy.

        1. Because with the addition of Kakko & Kravtsov they’d be at 15 forwards and 25 players on a 23 man roster?

          1. One of your 15 forwards is Matt Beleskey, so it is really 14. Another is Nieves — and no one is going to send Names and Vesey down to keep Nieves. I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Lias Andersson has no business anywhere near an NHL roster — and it is not clear that Chityl and Howden are ready either. For that matter, Kravtsov.

            Even with all those guys excluded and only nine guys left, it is still unlikely that names and Vesey are the two weakest remaining forwards. Getting rid of one or both of these guys may be essential for cap reasons, but it will have some negative consequences, even if Panarin is added.

            1. It’s pretty clear Ray … and where you come off suggesting Kravtsov isn’t ready is beyond me. I mean sure he might need some seasoning, but have you even watched the kid play?

              1. Come on. I did not say Kravtsov is not ready. What I literally said was that I don’t know that he is (and insinuated I suppose that the rest of us don’t know either). My doubts would of course not be based on my seeing him and rather be based on the assumption that others have not seen him in NHL action.

                A bit of history. Before the 2017-2018 season, I predicted the Rangers would not make the playoffs, being out of step with the rest here. [I did not foresee the total collapse however.] My argument was that the Rangers were thin at forward with too few competent bodies. The roster was constructed to give Lias Andersson a clear path to the starting lineup and when he did not work out, we saw a full season of Paul Carey and the Rangers even resorted to Adam Cracknell. Later Cody McLeod. It is pretty clear that the thinness was a problem — and it was again this last year (and so far I fear it for next, but of course the roster is far from set).

                Now the experts at BSB have been whining about Staal and Girardi for years – and of course laid the collapse to the Ranger defense – this despite the fact that the Girardi buyout hurt instead of helped. This is called using the evidence to support your theory as opposed to interpreting it on its merits. You may think I am doing the same thing, but I am not. I thought Spooner was a good acquisition and Namestnikov a bad one and thought both were overpaid. Names was frankly a pleasant surprise. I expected Chityl to be a star from day one. The possibility that his second year play would be unacceptable for an NHL player was one I did not consider. I also expected ADA to be a washout – I think people are jumping the gun giving him credit at this point, but today I would bet that I was wrong.

                I think the way you build a good team is by making Kravtsov, Chityl, Howden, Andersson, Hajek, Fox, Lindgren, Rykov compete for spots — and I believe that if they are not ready, they are better served by learning in Hartford and not in NY. Do I have personal opinions on most of these players – certainly. But a good organization keeps its options open when possible. It may think Andersson will be a success, but it needs to consider the possibility he will flop; it may think Sean Day will never make it, but it needs to develop him anyway in the hope that they are wrong. If I remember correctly, Cam Talbot and Dan Girardi were low level prospects, guys the Rangers just developed anyway because they were in the system. The horror of Hartford is that there have not been any recent examples like this.

                Already too long, but one final note. The Rangers were terrible last year (32-50 IIRC). Why? I am not really more negative than everyone else – I just lay the blame on different people. Marc Staal was not the reason the Rangers lost so many games.

  4. I like Trouba, but I would put him below Esa Lindell without hesitation. That said, he probably ranks above Lindell in the numbers which influence salaries.

    Personally, I don’t think of percentage of cap hit. Realistically, you need about $23M to field a team and you have $60M to make it a good team. At $7M (I agree this is less than likely), Trouba comes in at 10%. This makes more sense to me than spending 5% on guys like Names and Spooner as the Rangers did last year. At this point, I am more worried about overpaying guys like Buchnevich and DeAngelo, though I suspect the Ranger will not have to pay ADA too much this year.

    1. The same Lindell that has never scored over 32 points in a season? I mean numbers aren’t everything and I like Lindell, a lot … but Trouba is more of a cornerstone d’man and closer to UFA status then Lindell.

      1. I did agree that Trouba would likely get more money because of other considerations- only talking about who is better. UFA status is thus irrelevant. As to judging play, there should be little doubt that Trouba is better offensively and Lindell is better defensively. Lindell does two things – he kills penalties, like all two minutes in playoff games and he helps Klingberg be an attacking defenseman (and Klingberg is more effective offensively than Trouba I think).

        1. Trouba kills penalties, a lot. He averaged 2:28 per game.

          Regardless, they are totally different d’men.

    2. That’s why I use cap %, not cap hit. A $7 million cap hit on a $83 ceiling is a lot less than a $7 million hit on a $63 million ceiling. Timing of the signing in relation to the cap ceiling matters.

      1. If you were responding to me, you missed my point. I basically ignore the first million dollars of salary because that is essentially what it costs to put a warm body on the ice. A hypothetical player with a $61M dollar salary is not really using 75% of the cap, he is using all of the discretionary spending.

        In my model, guys like Fox, Hajek, Lemieux, Chityl, Howden count as free. Typically, you only have to pay for 12-15 players. 10% on a very good one is not that much.

        1. If you have an easy way to assign WAR you might be onto something, just make sure it inverts to magnify value of ELC below the maximum amount you can bury in the minors.

      2. The cap isn’t going to be $83mm.

        Using numbers generated from the average salary numbers in 2013-2019 for RFA compensation as a proxy for the midpoint(and the rate of inflation) and contrasting those numbers to the cap, the number looks to be around $82.18mm.

        NHLPA is having a civil war over escrow heading towards the next CBA, so no escalator to $83mm. 1% off is 81.35mm, 1.5% is $80.9 and 2% off is $80.5.

        If the cap were $83mm and escrow took back the average number of the last few seasons you’d be looking at $81.75mm as a target.

            1. Others now pushing it out there as well.

              To get within 80 basis points of the number ain’t half bad for a rough calc.

  5. I understand 7+ is the market value today, just baffles my mind that basically puts Trouba smack in the middle of McDonagh and Hedman money.

    1. Karlsson just got $11m … and McD/Hedman are in Florida (no sales tax, lower cost of living), besides these numbers pretty much just increase every year, it’s the inevitable creep of salaries in the NHL (all professional sports). At least with Trouba though you’re paying for a 25 year old Top pairing guy, it’s those secondary players that present more of an issue … the $4m for guys like Namestnikov and Strome. JG will figure it out and someone (or sometwo) will get moved out to make space. I’m more worried about what Panarin’s contract will look like and whether we should even bother.

    2. The thing is that you need to loack everybody down and give them max term(for U28) because in a couple of years the USA TV revenues are going to explode. NBC still main rights holder, but ESPN & Fox getting back in as well.

  6. You know that Gorton will get the contract done. If the number is around $7M, it will be done in less that 2 weeks. If he wants more, it will push out the negotiations as Gorton will need more time to move out players. I am sure that Gorton had a number in his head when he acquired him. Let’s hope it was a realistic number.

    Panarin is the wild card. I am sure he wants $10M. Whether we can afford that is the next hurdle after Trouba. While I would like Panarin, I do not think we can compete with the Florida team when it comes to available Cap space.

  7. I don’t see how Panarin and Kreider both fit under the cap even with some major moves. I don’t think you ever want to be right at the max, just in case moves have to be made because of an injury, or an unexpected opportunity. That means the question is whether or not Panarin is the right fit to replace Kreider. Yes, he’s unquestionably the greater offensive threat, but how do you replace Kreider’s impact in the locker room? By all accounts, he’s an extremely intelligent, well respected, and valued, member of the team. Not saying that Panarin isn’t, or won’t be, just that I don’t want to underestimate that aspect. Edmonton did it, and has wasted the early years of Conor McDavid’s contract already because they have yet to build a TEAM. Ideally, we keep Kreider AND get Panarin, if at all possible.

  8. Considering his age, a slightly high number today means a good value in the future. His cap hit % will continue to decrease (assuming the cap increases) every year, and by the end of his projected contract he should still be only slightly past his prime. To me, anywhere under 8mil per is reasonable given today’s market.

  9. Trouba is easily within the best among the 31 top pair RD in the NHL….Pay the man

  10. I’m not a big Kreider fan, but I’m conflicted on Panarin. If we have to jump through hoops with trades, buyouts and salary retention just to get him signed then I say the heck with it… what’s the downside to not signing him? Keeping Kreider? In two years there will be around 25 million opening up in cap space. In the meantime there are other options less than 11/12 million per year.

    1. Fair points Gat….Im wirh you. I wonder tho if Hayes contract just got Kreider traded

      1. No way Kreider gets more than 6.5 to 7 million per from Gorton, and I don’t think it goes beyond 6 years. That’s the upper limit IMO. So, yeah, Kreider may get traded.

        1. Maybe Kreider is the center piece to get us the Oil or Sabres 1st round pick….Im listening to a pod cast now where they said Ken Holland is willing to move down

    2. Signing Panarin just isn’t that hard to do – if of course he can be convinced. The Rangers have $19M for Trouba, Panarin, plus raises for Buch and DeAngelo. And they even end up with an extra defensemen. It is just common sense to deal Shatty at half retained salary as there is no place for him. The $19M should take care of Panarin and Trouba, the Shattenkirk saving Buchnevich and the ADA raise should not be that large — some scrimping necessary, yes, but not very much.

      As for Kreider, his new contract comes on the books next year. At that time, the Girardi penalty decreases by $2.5M, the Spooner retention ends, Beleskey is gone, and the Names, Strome, Vesey contracts end. And there’re buyout opportunities. If there are no cap issues at all, it just means your team is not very good.

      Of course, one must use judgment and not overpay.

  11. Its pretty clear that until we know what we are doing with Shatt, Staal, and Smith’s contracts, JG’s hand are somewhat tied with chasing both Panarin and a long term contract for Kreider. A Trouba contract is almost a given.

    Unfortunately, its hard to imagine JG being able to do something with the 3 Defensemen before and during the draft unless he’s giving up something significant.

  12. I wonder how much Krieder is worth? Is it worth it to the Rangers to trade him for a pick # 10 or higher? On the flip side–are there any teams that would trade a 3-9 pick for him?

    If he could be part of a package for both of Colorado’s picks–I’d be interested–depending on what else the Rangers had to give up. However, I do not see a trade for draft picks with Kreider that makes sense for the Rangers or the other team.

    If the Rangers could get a pick that would yield Cozens, Dach or Boldy up front or Byram, Broberg or Seider on the back end–that would be pretty great.

  13. Trouba is going to cost over $7 million per annum to sign a 5 or 6 year deal. I assume he doesn’t want a longer deal. His agent is aggressive and the kid never could come to an agreement with the Jets. Over 7 million and perhaps close to $8 million is probably going to be the demand. Karlsson got $11 million so the market has increased for talented first pair defensemen. Ouch.

    1. He never wanted to be in Winnipeg, I would hardly use that as a criteria for judging his attitude towards a contract with the Rangers — he did his best to get to free agency ASAP, or to force the Jets to move him beforehand.

      His fiance wants to be in NY and I’m betting he will get $8-8.5m or slightly above for the max term (I could be totally wrong though, wouldn’t be the first time).

      Overhardt isn’t a total jerk, he’ll do whatever works best for his client — and to be honest that’s the way most agents operate (don’t get me wrong, they can be a-holes in so many other ways lol). They will advise and try to maximize the $ amount, but in the end they will respect the client’s needs. Priority number one is keeping the client happy. Peter you’re a lawyer, like me, you advise and offer your learned opinion but in the end the client normally does what they want (or what they think they want).

      1. I agree Tanto, if he wants a contract that is more than 5 or 6 years then the price is going to be more around $8 million per annum. I didn’t mean to imply that his agent would be the one driving the train completely. I just knew that his reputation was one of getting the maximum bucks he can for his clients. If his client is going to be under contract into his early 30’s then they will want to ensure he is paid a lot to render his prime playing years to the contract.

        Trouba probably wants his wife to have security that he will remain in New York for her entire residency and beyond. Doctors sorta love practicing in New York. 🙂

        1. He’s actually let a few teams off the hook salary-wise in the past, not to suggest he has to in our case. Just saying his record is mixed, he isn’t Scott Boras. 😉

          I’m thinking he gets $8m even at 5-6 years, on the premise that if he went to arbitration just for next year his salary would be $7m … so say 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0 … and I’m fine with that, in a world where an older Erik Karlsson gets $11m for 8 years.

        1. Good boy Mickey, that’s a good boy! Want to play with the ball now? Play with the ball? lol

  14. We already lost Zucc. To lose Kreider over a few mil or so would be foolish. I don’t see anyone giving us a pick in the top twenty for him. Remember, he scored 28 goals while playing hurt for 30 games or so!

  15. How much will it cost to land Troubadour, a lot. He is the guy that the Rangers have had an eye on for quite sometime and he knows. I just hope after his big payday he doesn’t pull a Dion Phaneuf.

  16. keep Krieider…Look, line chemistry is the most important thing in hockey, and he has it with Zib. Top choices to trade/buyout first are Names, Smith, Staal, Strome. Sign Panarin and keep Vesey if possible on the 3rd line. If the cap doesn’t work, trade Vesey, but only trade him if we cant sign Panarin

    1. Not to mention Kreider is the only forward willing to take the abuse in front of the net — and he does a damn good job with net presence. With his training regimen and natural attributes I’m not too worried about a 6ish year deal.

      1. This is a good point. It is not only about having good players, it is about having players with complementary skills. And Kreider complements well. Personally, I hope Lemieux can develop in this direction.

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