NHL Rumor Mill – October 8, 2016
Latest on Jacob Trouba, Vladimir Sobotka, the Boston Bruins and more in your NHL rumor mill.
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector believes the Winnipeg Jets can’t afford to let restricted free agent defenseman Jacob Trouba push them around, feeling it would set a bad precedent that could allow other players to follow his example. Trouba recently made a trade request on the basis of his preference to play top-four minutes on the right side of the Jets blueline.
Spector suggest Trouba’s preference could make it difficult for the Jets to find a club willing to take on a player “who is going to quit as soon there is an imbalance of right- to left-shot defencemen.” He also doubts the Jets will get a fair return for Trouba before the Dec. 1 deadline to re-sign him and the blueliner’s agent knows this.
Spector goes on to suggest that moving Trouba could further hurt Winnipeg as a preferred destination for NHL players. Spector predicts the Jets “will not trade Trouba before Dec. 1, and the player will sign a one-year deal under the provision that (Jets GM Kevin) Cheveldayoff seeks a trade. It’s a lose-lose, because now neither side is invested in each other.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the other hand, is it really worthwhile to a player on the roster who really doesn’t want to be there? Why re-sign a potential dressing-room cancer? Why keep a player who could set a bad example for the other young players on the roster? Signing Trouba to a one-year contract only ensures this issue becomes an unnecessary distraction for him, management and the other Jets players.
Even if Cheveldayoff can’t find a suitable return by Dec.1, he could force Trouba to sit out the season and wait until next summer for a better deal. As for the opinion that some players don’t want to be in Winnipeg, the recent re-signings of Dustin Byfuglien, Mark Scheifele and Mathieu Perreault punches holes in that theory.
CSNNE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Joe Haggerty was asked if the Boston Bruins giving defenseman Christian Ehrhoff a professional tryout means they’re not in on Jacob Trouba. He believes it’s a sign the Bruins will use every available outlet to improve their blueline. When asked if the Bruins might pursue a right-handed shot such as David Savard of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Haggerty believes they could pursue a bigger name than Savard, though he doesn’t fully rule out that possibility.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Ehrhoff plays well for the Bruins on his PTO, I believe they’ll sign him to an affordable one-year deal. Even then, I think they’ll monitor the Trouba situation. Given the lack of experienced depth on the Blue Jackets blueline, I don’t see them moving Savard.
ESPN.COM’S Pierre LeBrun reports the following on Twitter regarding Vladimir Sobotka: “Yakupov deal doesn’t necessarily close the door on Sobotka returning to Blues from KHL but reality is, Blues not counting on that return.”
NBC SPORTS: Jame’s O’Brien cites TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reporting the NHL’s 2016-17 trade deadline will be held on March 1, 2017. That conflicts with earlier wording claiming the deadline would be Feb. 28.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lavoie is a reliable source. If he says the deadline is March 1, I take him at his word.