Recently it was learned that RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba and his representation formally requested a trade from the Winnipeg Jets. The young blue liner cited his wish for consistent playing time on the right side and dismissed the notion his request was based on either money or a desire to leave the city of Winnipeg. The Jets understandably are placing a high price on Trouba and it’s been said the team wants a left-shooting defender of comparable talent and age to the 22-year-old native of Michigan.
One team thought to have been on the hunt for a top-four blue liner this summer and linked in the past to Trouba is Boston. The Bruins essentially admitted that interest when team president Cam Neely appeared last month on CSN’s Great American Hockey Show:
“Basically from April to now everybody is talking about our back end, and not being able to land a top-four defenseman. We still have an opportunity as far as cap space goes if something shakes free, and I know Don [Sweeney] has been working hard trying to do something. But I feel like as a group we can do better than we did last year.”
While Boston, like many teams, might love to add a young talent the ilk of Trouba, Joe Haggerty of CSN New England believes the acquisition cost would simply be too high. Haggerty reasons that in order to meet the Jets supposed asking price, the Bruins would have to part with highly-skilled defenseman Torey Krug in exchange. Krug is a “leader-in-the-making,” who adds toughness and attitude to the lineup according to Haggerty.
At the end of the day, even while highlighting Krug’s strengths, Haggerty admits it’s unlikely that would be enough on its own to pry Trouba away from the Jets. Ultimately he believes the combination of a pricey new contract for Trouba and the cost in terms of players and/or other assets is simply more than the Bruins should be willing to pay.
More from around the NHL:
- It’s unclear at this point whether or not Jarret Stoll makes the final roster of the Columbus Blue Jackets but what is clear is that the veteran pivot is not ready to call it a career, according to Tom Reed of The Columbus Dispatch. “I definitely think I have a lot left in the tank and my body feels good. I understand the game is getting younger – young, skilled and fast — but I feel like I can still contribute.” Reed goes on to write that Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella did not express “strong feelings either way” with regards to Stoll’s recent performance against Pittsburgh. Stoll, who is one of four players on PTOs remaining with the Blue Jackets, is an excellent faceoff guy and expereinced penalty-killer who has been part of two Stanley Cup championship teams while a member of the Kings. He left Los Angeles as a free agent and signed with the New York Rangers last summer. After 29 games with the Blue Shirts, Stoll was off to Minnesota after the Wild claimed him on waivers. He would finish the campaign with just nine points in 80 games in 2015-16. Perhaps most troubling is that he was among the worst drivers of puck possession in the league, finishing with a CF% of just 37.34%, a rate which was actually last in the NHL.
- After winning the Atlantic Division in 2015-16, the Florida Panthers appear poised to take the next step following an active offseason. The team invested huge resources this summer to upgrade the blue line in an effort to support a talented and deep group of forwards. As Harvey Fialkov writes, while the team’s top two lines are essentially set in stone, the club is still searching for the right wingers to play with third-line pivot Nick Bjugstad. Fialkov believes Jared McCann, acquired in an offseason deal with Vancouver, Colton Sceviour and Jon Marchessault, who were both inked as free agents this summer, are the likeliest candidates to line up next to Bjugstad this season. McCann, a former first-round draft choice, was specifically targeted by the Panther front office to fill a top-nine role, as Fialkov writes. Sceviour is quick and has averaged 10 goals and 25 points playing the last two seasons for Dallas. Marchessault is undersized, 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds, but has plenty of skill. Bjugstad believes that finding chemistry with the right linemates is the most critical factor: “It’s more about learning the system and getting that effort. Everyone’s getting more and more comfortable with each other, especially the younger guys. We’re figuring out how guys work out on the ice and see which guys click with each other. I think there’s a lot of different options and that’s what’s good about this team. We have a lot of depth.’’