Jacob Trouba‘s new contract could ironically mean that his days in Manitoba’s capital are numbered. Could the New York Rangers still be involved?
Much of the trade talk that has surrounded the New York Rangers over the past month and a half has been centered around Winnipeg Jets’ blue-liner Jacob Trouba.
When Trouba’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, released a statement late in September regarding his client’s desire to go elsewhere, many Blueshirts’ fans drooled over the possibility of Trouba donning Broadway Blue. With veterans Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein‘s best days in the rearview mirror, Jeff Gorton’s need for an up-and-coming right-handed defenseman appeared to be at an all-time high.
Now after 40 days of traction-less rumblings on a potential future home for the Minnesota native, rumors about a potential move for the 22-year old were reignited when Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the restricted free agent would be returning to Winnipeg on a two-year deal that would pay him $2.5 million this year, with $3.5 million coming his way the following season.
Jacob Trouba is re-signing in Winnipeg. Hearing two years, $3M AAV.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 7, 2016
While in most cases a freshly inked contract would likely signify an elongated stay north of the border, Trouba’s pact may suggest otherwise. A major knock on Trouba was that he was going to command massive dollars on a new deal. The fact that Trouba is signed to a team-friendly “bridge deal” and, more importantly, that he will be back in game action (for the first time since Team North America were eliminated from the World Cup of Hockey) makes Trouba a much more enticing option for the Rangers.
There are many present circumstances that suggest a trade between these two sides involving Trouba is in the works. There is also probable cause, however, to believe that many of these conditions are simply just a coincidence.
Let me explain.
Why a deal could be in the works:
There has been a multitude of signs that point to the Rangers striking a deal with the Jets for Trouba.
The first of these signs is, as I mentioned before, Trouba’s new contract. His two-year deal grants him $6 million dollars in total, good for an AAV of $3 million per year. This is exactly the type of contract the Rangers can afford, as the Blueshirts have approximately $3 million in cap to work with.
In addition, the news of this deal came less than a day after the Rangers wiped the Jets 5-2 at Madison Square Garden. Is it possible that Jeff Gorton and Jets’ General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff had been discussing potential terms to a Trouba swap? If so, Trouba’s new paperwork may have something to do with it.
Trouba’s pristine deal is also significant due to it’s resemblance to the contract that J.T. Miller signed over the offseason. Miller is a guy who would be a viable return for the Jets’ former first-round pick and their now similar salaries could mean a potential exchange awaits.
Why these circumstances are simply coincidental:
Although the case for a deal is mighty convincing, the recent happenings surrounding a future Trouba move to the Big Apple are likely just a coincidence.
While Trouba’s new contract arguably makes him more movable, it very well may be the Jets giving him another chance in Winnipeg. Cheveldayoff never openly said that he was shopping the youngster and sounded very convincing (at today’s press conference) that he had plans to keep Trouba in the heart of Canada.
The Jets also have immense depth on defense that could become a huge strength going forward. Parting with Trouba would definitely cut into that.
From the Rangers’ point of view, the question that begs is why on Earth would the Blueshirts think about moving Miller. He currently leads the Rangers in scoring and has made huge strides in the defensive department as well. There is simply no reason to move on from a guy who has the looks of future stardom, and that’s exactly what the Rangers would be doing if they shipped Miller away.
It also appears as if the Blueshirts need for a defenseman has lessened since the latter days of September. The resurgences of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh‘s outstanding play, and Brady Skjei‘s continued emergence have resulted in a strong defensive start for Alain Vigneault‘s sizzling squad.
There is no way a deal involving Miller and Trouba would get done. Miller’s hot start to the year and uncertainties regarding Trouba’s future make it unlikely that Gorton would accept any sort of deal involving these two players.
Don’t expect Jacob Trouba to be calling the Big Apple home anytime soon.