The Winnipeg Jets have proven to be a place where winning and success is starting to take fruition. Over the last couple of years, the team hasn’t had much trouble signing their key free agents, whether it’s Dustin Byfuglien, Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers or Connor Hellebuyck.
That’s why its troubling to see the Jets and defenseman Jacob Trouba going to arbitration, the first player to take the Jets to arbitration in their history. This will be the second time the two sides have gone against each other in contract negotiations with the first encounter being quite heated and made it clear that Trouba didn’t want to be in Winnipeg. Considering that only one case in out of 55 last year went to arbitration, this just is another bad sign, according to Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free-Press.
No matter what happens, the damage will have been done as arbitration only increases animosity between teams. With still lingering effects to the 15-game holdout between Trouba and the Jets, this will only worsen the problem. Wiecek suggests the team has two years to fix the problem and should start looking for a trade partner as soon as possible, because no matter how much he claims he loves it in Winnipeg, it looks more and more like he’ll bolt the first chance he reaches unrestricted free agency. Trading him as soon as possible will only bring home the best returns, which would be another solid defenseman.
- Mark Lazerus of The Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Chicago Blackhawks will know more about the status of goaltender Corey Crawford in the coming weeks. The veteran goaltender, who missed a large portion of the season last year, is expected to start skating soon and so far looks to be on track to returning this season. “I ran into him [Monday] and talked to him for a while,” general manager Stan Bowman said on Tuesday. “Things are looking good. He said he hasn’t done a whole lot of on-ice stuff yet, but a few of our guys were just starting to skate today, as well. I think they’ll get ramped up over the next six weeks and get more on-ice preparation. I know he’s been training off-ice. Hopefully, things are good.”
- The Minnesota Wild announced their new affiliation with the Allen Americans as their new ECHL franchise for the 2018-19 season. The team, based in Allen, Texas, has been a successful franchise over its nine years of existence, making the playoffs nine straight years including five years in the CHL and another four in the ECHL. They won the President’s Cup in 2013 and 2014, while winning the Kelly Cup in 2015 and 2016. The Wild used their Rapid City Rush last year as their ECHL affiliate.