Jacob Trouba‘s contract squabble with the Winnipeg Jets is over.
On Monday, the Jets inked the RFA defenseman to a two-year, $6 million deal with a $3M AAV — one that pays $2.5 million in the first year, and $3.5 million in the second.
Trouba, who requested a trade out of Winnipeg last month, hasn’t played at all this season, and needed to sign before Dec. 1 if he wanted to.
So, that piece of business is out of the way.
Now we get to see how much damage was done to the relationship.
In September, agent Kurt Overhardt, insisted the trade request had nothing to do with money and everything to do with “the opportunity to realize [Trouba’s] potential as a right shot NHL defenseman.”
The Jets already have two veteran right-shot defenseman under contract. Dustin Byfuglien recently signed a five-year extension, Tyler Myers has three years left on his deal.
On the surface, Overhardt’s comments about the money appear to ring true. Last December, reports suggested Trouba’s initial ask was big money, big term — $56 million over eight years, per the Free Press.
Instead, the 22-year-old has opted for a bridge deal with a significantly lower AAV.
Which is awfully familiar.
Back in 2011, another Overhardt client — Kyle Turris — was in a similar boat to Trouba. Turris, then a member of the Coyotes, was a restricted free agent that missed the early part of the season embroiled in a contract negotiation, only to sign a two-year bridge deal and return to the desert.
Less than a month after signing, Turris was traded to Ottawa.
Trouba’s new contract would certainly make him easy to move. Any acquiring team knows they’ve got him for at least two years on very friendly cap hit, and the former ninth overall pick is considered to be one of the brightest young d-man prospects around.
But the Jets know this too, and certainly sound like a team that wants Trouba in the mix. In mid-October, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said they “believe that Jacob is a big part of this organization,” and for all the talk of a fractured relationship, do remember that Jonathan Drouin made it work in Tampa Bay.
If reconciliation can occur after what Drouin went through with the Bolts, it can probably occur with Trouba and the Jets.