It appears that the stalemate between RFA defenseman Jacob Trouba and the Winnipeg Jets is set to extend into November. TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes that both sides have indicated that the situation remains “status quo”.
At this stage, it appears both sides have their lines drawn in the proverbial sand. Trouba has made it known that he wants to play on his natural right side, something that is more challenging in Winnipeg since Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers, both righties with long-term contracts are also there. While they could conceivably play Trouba or one of them on the third pairing allowing all three to play their natural side, that wouldn’t be the best use for them as all are capable of playing greater than 20 minutes a night.
As for the Jets, the asking price remains very high and so far no team has been willing to meet it. It’s believed that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is looking for basically the left handed equivalent of Trouba, an established top four blueliner that has several years of team control remaining.
Further complicating things is that while Trouba is motivated to move on, the team doesn’t appear to be anywhere near as motivated to move him. McKenzie adds that teams that have shown interest in Trouba don’t believe that they are eager or even likely to move him any time soon. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported late last week that the team is still willing to offer a six year, $33MM contract to get him to stay in Winnipeg, something that Trouba has declined to this point.
We’re nearly a month away from the key deadline in all of this, December 1st. At that time, if an RFA remains unsigned, he is ineligible to play for the remainder of the season. Is Trouba really willing to sit an entire year to try to get his wish? McKenzie feels that’s one of only two real options for the 22 year old – he can sit and wait or bite the bullet and take the contract Winnipeg’s offering while structuring it creatively to limit the amount of salary lost this season. He could also potentially sign a shorter-term deal while maintaining his trade request in the hopes that a trade can be reached later in the year or next offseason although Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that does not appear to be something he’s willing to consider at this time.
In his time with the Jets, Cheveldayoff has proven himself to be a very patient general manager. Does Trouba and his representation have the same level of patience? We’re about to find out over the next month.