There’s been a lot of smoke around Winnipeg blueliner Jacob Trouba, who’s been at the center of trade rumors for weeks now.
But according to his GM, that’s all it is — smoke.
“Trying to trade Jacob Trouba?” Kevin Cheveldayoff said on Tuesday, per the Winnipeg Free Press. “This is an interesting time of year. I’ve seen lots of different scenarios out there of teams that are pushing hard that I haven’t even heard from and I’ve talked to different teams that have asked different questions that I’ve certainly asked myself.
“I’m not trying to trade anybody.”
Cheveldayoff then continued on, saying that Winnipeg has “some good young players here,” Trouba and Mark Scheifele chief among them. Those two are, of course, up for new contracts this summer, and Cheveldayoff re-iterated the goal is to get both re-signed.
“So trying to trade [Trouba]?” he asked. “No.”
The Trouba situation is complex, which is why Cheveldayoff had to address it today.
The ninth overall pick in 2012 — who only turned 22 in February — has already played over 200 NHL contests and holds the potential to be a top-flight defenseman for an awfully long time. That projection would fit with reports from earlier this season, in which Trouba was apparently asking for a monster eight-year, $56 million extension, one that would carry a $7 million average annual cap hit.
Trouba’s agent eventually shot down the report, but things only got more interesting from there.
In February, Dustin Byfuglien signed a five-year, $38 million extension (a $7.6M cap hit), which led to speculation about Trouba’s future in the ‘Peg. It wasn’t just Byfuglien’s big, new contract that had people wondering about Trouba’s future in Winnipeg. Tyler Myers is also signed through 2018-19, and all three are right shots.
In April, reports claimed Trouba’s agent was meeting with the Jets to “strategize” contract talks. Not long after, rumblings surfaced that Colorado was interested in acquiring Trouba.
They are but a few of the good young players Cheveldayoff was talking about. It’s becoming clear he’s not going to be able to afford them all — not with the likes of Kyle Connor, Josh Morrissey, Brendan Lemieux and possibly Patrik Laine all on the way.