The Jets are willing to offer defenseman Jacob Trouba a six-year deal worth $5.5 million per year, but it seems he doesn’t want to play in Canada.
With the Anaheim Ducks re-signing Hampus Lindholm, Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba is the only unsigned restricted free agent. The two sides don’t appear any closer to a deal.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports it’s believed the Jets are willing to offer the 22-year-old Trouba a six-year deal worth $5.5 million annually. Agent Kurt Overhardt said it’s not about money, but where his client fits on the Winnipeg defense.
The Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe reports Overhardt said there’s no change from their position since issuing a trade request a month ago. Trouba, a right-handed shot, prefers a top-four position on the right side of the blueline.
Dreger also said there’s “Canadian interest aimed at Winnipeg.” In other words, some unnamed Canadian teams could be pitching offers to the Jets for Trouba. However, Dreger claims the American-born rearguard doesn’t see a fit in Canada.
American clubs, such as the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings, are thought to have interest in Trouba. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes the New York Rangers have interest in him, but the Jets’ asking price is considered too high.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post speculates if a Trouba trade takes place, re-signing him won’t be an issue because the teams interested in the defenseman did due diligence regarding his salary demands. He also points out if the Rangers decide to pursue him or Ducks D-man Sami Vatanen, it’ll take a quality return to land either one.
It’s believed the Jets seek a young, skilled top-four defenseman with a left-handed shot for Trouba. Brady Skjei is the only Rangers blueliner that comes close to that description, but he’s not comparable in skills with Trouba. The Blueshirts could sweeten the pot by adding a forward, perhaps Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller or Chris Kreider, to entice the Jets whilst freeing up cap room for Trouba’s new contract.
The Rangers have just over $2 million in cap space. Unless Trouba is willing to accept an affordable short-term bridge deal to join the Blueshirts, they must give up significant salary to land him.
PENGUINS OPEN TO TRADING CONDON
Injuries continue to hamper the goaltending of the Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings. With starters Mike Smith, Tuukka Rask and Jonathan Quick on the shelf, it’s up to their respective backups to carry the burden.
That’s raised speculation one of those clubs could pursue Pittsburgh Penguins third-string goalie Mike Condon. With goalie Matt Murray returning from injury to the Penguins lineup, there’s talk the Penguins could place the 26-year-old Condon on waivers, or try to trade him.
Condon has experience stepping in for a sidelined starter, having done so last season with the Montreal Canadiens when Carey Price went down. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports they’re receptive to the idea of trading him, but prefer avoiding waivers.
That’s an understandable view by Penguins management. If they place Condon on waivers they’ll lose him for nothing. By entertaining trade offers from a rival club desperate for goaltending help, they could land a draft pick or a player.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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