Putting Jacob Trouba in a position to succeed

The Rangers need Jacob Trouba. Jacob Trouba needs the Rangers. This is a marriage that likely isn’t ending any time soon. Yet Trouba has been far from worth his contract, and the Rangers are stuck paying him $8 million a year to be mediocre. Once Jack Johnson is gone next season, all eyes will be on Trouba as the whipping boy. It’s time to put Jacob Trouba in a position to succeed with the proper partner.

There are two schools of thought here. The first is to put Tony DeAngelo on his left side, which solves the DeAngelo/third pair issue. That pairing has been something I’ve been pushing, however it doesn’t play to Trouba’s strengths. This is something Rob has pointed out. I’ve been coming around on this, and am now with Rob, that Trouba is best off with a defensive minded partner.

This does not mean I think DeAngelo is best suited on the right side. I still think he’s a better LD than RD.

Trouba looked to awaken himself when paired with Brendan Smith last season. He was much better, but that isn’t the best role for Smith. It’s about finding balance, and that’s where Ryan Lindgren comes into play. He’s the only pure defense-first player who is actually, you know, good.

Sticking with Lindgren-Trouba is going to be an important aspect of Trouba’s success going forward. This kills two birds with one stone if it works. First, it gets Trouba going, which is critical to the short and long term success of the Rangers. This is, perhaps, the most critical piece.

Second, it provides an opportunity for the Rangers to put K’Andre Miller with Adam Fox on the second pair. Fox is the steadiest defenseman on the team, and Miller needs that reliability to make mistakes. As mentioned earlier today, this second pair has the ability to catch lightning in a bottle.

A consistent and stable top four is a critical piece for the Rangers. To get there, they need to get Jacob Trouba going with the right partner. The Lindgren-Trouba experiment should be one that gets more than a shift, and one that should reap benefits up and down the lineup.

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  • I would consider putting Fox with DeAngelo, Miller with Brendan Smith — no reason to throw Miller to the wolves just yet, let him get sheltered minutes on a 3rd pairing.

    • I feel Fox who’s our steadiest defenseman might be the best partner for the rookie Miller while Trouba can get involved more offensively knowing the defensive minded Lindgren is back there. The 3rd pair will be a work in progress all year until prospects like Nils, Robertson and Schneider are ready to make the jump or a solid veteran defensive defenseman is brought in.

      • All the more reason to try Fox with ADA — what Miller needs is some simple sheltered minutes with a steady guy like Smith. They don’t have to wow us with offense, they just need to hold down the fort against lesser players … IMO.

  • The Trouba signing has been a debacle from the git go. Once again the Rangers chase after a new shiny toy and overreach and overpay. Troubs is a stabilizing dman, but not an impact player that can carry the team.

    His contract is an albatross that will weigh down the franchise for the next several years. Fans will blame Trouba, but this is a case of management being their worse enemy.

  • I’m coming around to this idea too. One way or another, they have to get Trouba going. And he’s not going to get comfortable if they keep playing him with rookies and top line minutes. The rookies are over-matched, and Trouba has not played comfortably. I don’t think he’s a consistent 50-pt d-man… probably 35+ is more realistic. But he’s only 26 yrs old, has size, plays with some grit, and does have some offensive output. I imagine he would be much better with a Smith-type partner who is… you know … better than Smith and can handle the responsibility of playing against other team’s top players.

    It’s more timing than anything. The NYR have the right d-men in the system. They’re just young. Miller or Schneider will probably be good partners for Trouba. They’re just not ready right now.

  • I’m sorry but when you have the 8th highest salary of any defenseman in the NHL, your defensive partner shouldn’t have this much of an impact on whether you are bad or just OK. That cap hit means you’re paid to be a top 10 defenseman. That type of player shouldn’t look this bad with any partner.

    Would Brent Burn ever look this bad if he were paired with an inferior player?

    Yes they need to find a good match for Trouba but just the fact that this type of article needs to written further reinforces the bad decision this team made.

    Honestly i would have preferred re signing Mcdonagh for his 7×6.75 vs Trouba at 8×8.

    Yes I know the rangers drafted lundqvist out of the Mcdonagh trade but essentially they moved Mcdonaghs soon to be payday in order to fit Trouba’s so I consider them linked.

    • Or kept the first round pick they used for Trouba and signed a free agent tweener dman until the kids are ready for primetime.

  • Put Trouba in a place to succeed is by putting the D in a place for the entire D to succeed: If you are going to give up the blue line, then you really need to protect home plate. Instead guys are chasing above the dots, both D go below the goal line, basic things.

    • Someone might suggest this is to nip a potential problem in the bud, I think it’s overkill. Give him the chance to redeem himself and show us he gets “it”.

      • He’s 25.

        He is what he is.

        At this point, you play to his strengths, cover for his weaknesses and find a mark who needs his strengths more than the Rangers did.

      • One game in and the coach is making moves like he is desperate already. I sense that he is losing the room.

        I wonder what Gallant is doing?

  • Trouba defines the expression overrated and overpaid. Awful signing. The Dude parlayed one good year into a fat cat contract. He is here to collect a check.

    • I don’t think he’s here to collect a paycheck. He just needs to simplify his game and concern himself with his own play, not the play of his partner. Miller wasn’t ready to take on 1st pairing minutes and Trouba tried to compensate — that never works out well in the end.

      The above statement doesn’t mean I think Trouba is paid appropriately or that he will ever be worth $8M per …

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