Jacob Trouba needs to sign an NHL contract by Dec. 1, otherwise he can’t play in the league this season.
But according to his agent, that deadline is not part of the equation quite yet.
“It’s only Oct. 17,” Kurt Overhardt told the Winnipeg Free Press last night. “There’s obviously a lot of time between now and then. … It’s not really an issue at this point.”
In the meantime, Overhardt says he’ll keep working to “facilitate a positive transaction,” i.e. facilitate a trade out of Winnipeg so that the young defenseman can play a bigger role elsewhere.
So far, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff hasn’t given in to Trouba’s demand. But the Jets (1-2-0) are not off to a great start, and if they continue to struggle, the pressure on Cheveldayoff to bring the situation to some sort of conclusion will only increase as Dec. 1 approaches.
Of course, at the same time, Trouba isn’t playing, so he isn’t getting paid either. And if he signs an offer sheet and the Jets match, he has to stay in Winnipeg.
It’s quite the game of chicken, and the Jets and Trouba aren’t the only ones playing it. The Anaheim Ducks still haven’t been able to sign their young defenseman, Hampus Lindholm. And like the Jets, the Ducks (0-2-1) are off to a tough start.
“The season is more than three games,” Lindholm’s agent, Claude Lemieux, told Postmedia. “Trying to get a long-term deal is more than just the performance of the team during a short period of time. There’s definitely motivation from both sides to try and get a deal done.”
It’s a different situation in Anaheim compared to Winnipeg, because Lindholm doesn’t want to be traded. But it’s complicated by the likelihood the Ducks will have to make a trade to keep him. The speculation has Cam Fowler on the move. Which probably wouldn’t surprise Fowler, who expected to be dealt over the summer.
But we’ll have to wait and find out for sure.
It’s only Oct. 18.