The Winnipeg Jets suffered an early defeat in the Stanley Cup playoffs after lazily struggling through the last part of the regular season. Something seemed off for months as the team lost their grip on the Central Division, and failed to crack 100 points despite being 34-16-2 at the beginning of February. That may lead to some changes this offseason as the team decides how they can better compete, and Jacob Trouba’s name has come up in trade talks once again. Both Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun and Murat Ates of The Athletic (subscription required) examined the Trouba situation and the potential outcomes.
Most prevalent in both pieces is a trade of the right-handed defenseman, given his unwillingness to sign a long-term contract to this point. Trouba was previously unhappy with his role on the team, playing behind Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien or asked to hit the ice on his unnatural left side. This year much of that changed and Trouba became the premiere offensive weapon on the Jets’ blue line, recording 50 points in 82 games. Unfortunately he is now without a contract and just a single year away from unrestricted free agency. If the Jets don’t trade Trouba, he could elect salary arbitration again in order to secure himself a one-year deal.
- It’s hard to talk trade these days without mentioning the Minnesota Wild, who are expected to be active this summer in their pursuit of a return to the playoffs in 2020. Wild GM Paul Fenton has already torn apart the previous core of the team by trading the likes of Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund, but has more work to do in order to get his team back to the promised land. Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that Jason Zucker is being dangled once again in trade talks, as he was at the deadline when he was almost sent to the Calgary Flames. Russo examines potential trade fits for the Wild including Phil Kessel, Tyler Johnson and William Nylander, though it is not clear who Fenton is targeting at this moment.
- While writing about the upcoming cap crunch facing the Washington Capitals, Chris Kuc of The Athletic (subscription required) notes that the team is exploring a two-year bridge deal with restricted free agent Jakub Vrana. The two sides, Washington and agent J.P. Barry have also discussed a “slightly longer” deal for Vrana, and conducted initial talks on another client, Carl Hagelin. The Capitals are in a tough cap situation heading into next season, and much of it will depend on what number they can get Vrana at. That’s why a bridge deal makes sense, though Vrana is coming off a 24-goal season and will be looking for a healthy raise regardless.