If Jacob Trouba is to play in the NHL this season, he has to sign by Dec. 1. And since teams would, likely, be more comfortable trading for a player who has a contract and therefore a locked-in future that can be controlled, perhaps the Jets and Trouba can still come to an agreement?
According to Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman on Saturday’s Headlines segment, that may be the most likely resolution.
“Kurt Overhardt (Trouba’s agent) met with Kevin Cheveldayoff in Detroit,” Kypreos said. “The feeling is it’s still pretty quiet on that front, but Winnipeg would love to sign this guy. And sign him to that same contract we’ve seen other defencemen get. The perception out there right now is that there is a deal, like a Morgan Rielly deal, for $5 million, six years.
“And that would still come with the thought that it could be tradable if in fact he signs this and starts playing again, that they could be in a position where teams would love the known certainty of Jacob Trouba for the next six years and it would be tradable if that’s the direction they wanted to go.”
Overhardt has been through a similar situation before with Kyle Turris when the centre was a memeber of the then-Phoenix Coyotes and wanted to move on. After not signing for the start of the season, the two sides eventually struck a deal and Turris found his way out of town shortly after.
“Just so you know, Kyle Turris when he went through the situation, he signed on November 22, he was traded on December 17,” Friedman noted.
Of course, if the two sides do come to an agreement and Trouba returns to the Jets, for however brief a period, he’ll still be stepping back into a situation where he’ll be expected to play his opposite side. That, originally, was the main point of contention — the right shooting Trouba wanted to play on the right side, while the Jets would use him on the left.
Kelly Hrudey spoke to a couple insiders about the scenario and came away with two differing opinions on what type of defenceman can best handle playing on the off-side.
“I talked to a Hall of Fame defenceman today about this change,” Hrudey said. “He feels if you have good feet and hands you can make this change easily, you just have to embrace it. A guy like T.J. Brodie loves it, a guy like Alec Martinez does well with it.
“An NHL coach I believe will be a Hall of Famer…his theory is different. He would be more willing to play a guy on the wrong side if he’s less skilled because they don’t make plays anyway.”
Earlier this year, we took a look at some possible trade destinations for Trouba.