Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba was awarded a one-year, $5.5MM contract from an arbitrator, according to Elliotte Friedman. The deal is an even split down the middle as the Jets submitted a $4MM bid, while Trouba requested a salary at $7MM.
The deal is very cap friendly for the Jets who could have seen a much larger sum awarded to Trouba. The Athletic’s Sean Tierney reports that the salary comparisons included Duncan Keith, Andrej Sekera, Tyler Myers, Justin Schultz, Colton Parayko and Jeff Petry.
Now with the deal complete, the Jets must turn their attention to their other restricted free agents. The team still has to deal with Brandon Tanev, Marko Dano, Tucker Poolman, Josh Morrissey, Nicolas Kerdiles, Eric Comrie, Nicolas Petan and J.C. Lipon. With the Trouba deal, the team will have less than $13MM in cap space to lock them up. However, that number will be reduced even further once performance bonuses have been added into the cap, making it closer to $9.3MM.
Regardless, the biggest concern was Trouba’s deal, which the team has 48 hours to accept it (which they will) or allow him to walk away now as an unrestricted free agent. While this relieves immediate pressure, the one-year deal suggests the team must go through the same process once again next season as he will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights for the 2019-20 season before he will become an unrestricted free agent. The team has to hope they can come to a long-term agreement at some point in the next year before losing him before the 2020-21 season. With the possibility that Trouba is not interest in signing long-term with the Jets, Trouba’s name could find itself in the rumor mill for quite a long time. The team, however, cannot talk extension until Jan. 1, 2019.