Latest on Trouba and Vanek – January 16, 2017
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba could still be dealt and Detroit Red Wings winger Thomas Vanek could be a trade candidate.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Elliotte Friedman’s appearance last Friday on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, during which he stated his belief that Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba could be in play in the trade market.
While Trouba is on a two-year bridge deal, nobody considers this a long-term solution. Friedman feels a rival club will have to make it worth the Jets’ while to part with the talented young blueliner, but he ultimately believes somebody will.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t elaborate as to which teams could pursue him. Trouba is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in July 2018, so the Jets have time on their side for find a suitable deal if they wish.
There are clubs lacking skilled blueline depth possessing sufficient salary-cap room beyond this season to sign him to an expensive long-term contract extension. It’s also believed Trouba prefers to be traded to an American club.
Taking those factors into account, potential trade destinations could include the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils. However, the Jets supposedly wanted a defenseman of comparable age and skill in return. None of those aforementioned clubs can meet that asking price.
THE DETROIT NEWS: If the Red Wings fall further behind in this season’s playoff chase, Ted Kulfan speculates winger Thomas Vanek could be dangled as trade bait. Vanek, who turns 33 on Jan. 19, has 11 goals and 29 points in 32 games, despite missing time earlier in the season with a hip injury. He’s currently second among Red Wings’ scorers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vanek has a reputation for inconsistency and soft play in the postseason. Still, he’s on pace this season for 25 goals and 65 points, plus he carries an affordable contract (one-year, $2.6 million).
If he continues playing well in the coming weeks, I expect a playoff contender will pursue him before the March 1 trade deadline. The Wings could get a pick or two in return, though I doubt they’ll get anything higher than third rounders.