Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
You’ve got to be sure.
Whether the question is, “Is Jacob Trouba a top-pairing defenceman?” Or, “Can I win a Stanley Cup with Sean Monahan as my first-line centre?” an NHL general manager has to absolutely sure he knows the answer before he starts handing out long-term deals to young, restricted free agents on just their second contract.
That is where the Jets are with their unsigned 22-year-old right-shot defenceman Trouba, a player on whom the hockey world is split. He is big (6-foot-3, 202 lbs.), mobile and shoots the puck well. But the question persists when you talk to people around the National Hockey League:
Is Trouba destined to be a top pairing defenceman on a good team? That’s the projection the Jets are facing, as Trouba’s camp is likely asking to be paid and played like a top-pairing defenceman.
Averaging eight goals and 24 points per season over his first three campaigns, the scoring numbers don’t add up to a top-pairing guy. And as one NHL exec asked, “Does Trouba make his teammates better?”
continued plus Johnny Gaudreau mentioned too...
from Scott Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press,
It’s been noted by some media Trouba may be concerned with his role on the team and where he fits in. This is something very real to me — let’s dig deeper.
Good players are concerned about the role they have on the team, and how comfortable they are with that situation is of vital importance. Head coach Paul Maurice finally allowed Trouba to be free of blue-line partnerMark Stuart for some good times last season and the dynamic duo of Dustin Byfuglien and Trouba performed well. That required Trouba to play the left side — not something he was totally comfortable with — but he was obviously happy to play with superb talent.
Trouba said he hoped to play one side or the other — not to be switched back and forth — but I can’t see Maurice guaranteeing any player anything. There may be nights when he needs to spread out the defensive talent over the six spots, relegating Trouba into "Stuart territory."
But for fun, let’s say Maurice guaranteed Trouba would always play in one of the top-four defence pairings with Byfuglien, Tyler Myers or Toby Enstrom. On the surface, left-shooting Enstrom would seem to be the best match, so Trouba could play his natural right-side position. Putting Myers and Byfuglien together, however, would be a disaster.
Therein lies the problem for Trouba. He’s far and away the Jets’ best choice to switch over from the right side. Myers and Byfuglien are hampered by their foot speed and quickness when tight to the puck.
from Jared Clinton of The Hockey News,
So, what’s the issue with getting Trouba under contract? Well, according to TSN’s Gary Lawless, just about everything.
“(The Jets and Trouba are) apart everywhere,” Lawless said on TSN’s That’s Hockey. “They’re apart on money, they’re apart on term and they’re apart on usage. Jacob Trouba doesn’t want to play in the bottom pairing anymore. He wants to play with Dustin Byfuglien or one of the other top four D in Winnipeg. He wants power-play time. He wants to be a big part of what they’re doing in Winnipeg if he’s going to be here for a long time.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Trouba wants to be paid what he feels he’s worth, especially if he’s going to sign a long-term deal. Disputes over money and term are common in contract negotiations. However, following the past two seasons, and especially after a 2015-16 campaign in which some felt he took a step back, there seems to be concerns about whether Trouba deserves to be paid like a top-pairing blueliner. The fact of the matter, though, is that barring a trade, Trouba is likely to sign either a long-term deal that pays him like a top-four defenseman or a bridge deal that sees him in line for a raise a few seasons down the road.
More interesting than the debate about money and term, then, is Trouba’s concern about his usage and where he fits into the Jets’ lineup.
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
... That's why a bridge of a season or two still seems to make the most sense right now.
If Trouba can continue to log big minutes and increase his offensive production, the Jets will be happy to pay him big bucks over a longer term.
One of the potential problems is that as long as Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers and to a certain degree Toby Enstrom remain in the fold and healthy, there haven't been many power-play minutes available for Trouba, which has an obvious impact on his point totals.
But the Jets appear to hold much of the leverage when it comes to this round of negotiations, so Trouba's options seem pretty straightforward.
Sign a bridge deal and bet on himself to progress and cash in next time or lower his salary demands on a longer-term contract, assuming that's what he wants.
If neither of those possibilities appeal to Trouba, that's where things could get dicey.
Winnipeg, MB - The Winnipeg Jets™ Hockey Club announced today that Anders Hedberg, Bobby Hull and Ulf Nilsson will be the first inductees into a newly created Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame. The three players were members of the prolific ‘Hot Line’, which, as a trio, led the Winnipeg Jets to two World Hockey Association (WHA) championships in 1976 and 1978, and remains one of the most potent lines in professional hockey history. Members of Hot Line will be honoured in the inaugural Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at the MTS Centre when the Winnipeg Jets play the Toronto Maple Leafs®.
added 5:17pm, Winnipeg release is below...
Winnipeg, MB - The Winnipeg Jets have announced they have agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension with forward Mathieu Perreault worth an average annual value of $4.125 million starting in the 2017-18 season.
Perreault, 28, is entering his third season with the Jets after signing a three-year deal as a free agent in 2014. Last season, the native of Drummondville, Qc had 41 points (9G, 32A) in 71 games. It was the second-consecutive season he had 41 points for the Jets.
Originally selected by the Washington Capitals in the sixth-round, 177th overall in 2006, Perreault has suited up in 361 NHL games with the Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and Jets. Over his career he has 195 points, tallying 78 goals and 117 assists. He has a career-best 43 points (18G, 25A) with Anaheim in 2013-14.
from Sean Reynolds of Sportsnet,
To capitalize on that opening window, the Jets have hired a man who has the kind of experience they need. Their new assistant coach, Jamie Kompon, was with the Los Angeles Kings from 2006-2012. In that time, he oversaw a young core of players, including Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar, grow from talented prospects to Stanley Cup champs.
“I see a lot of similarities in terms of the L.A. team we had,” said Kompon. “The youth and some veteran players. But young veteran players. You know, we had Dustin Brown there. And Blake Wheeler is not that old. It’s the same kind of mold.”
Another team created in a similar mold? The Chicago Blackhawks; another club Kompon won the Stanley Cup with, in 2013. Their core of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson also grew together in a similar five-year cluster.
No one is saying the Jets are the next Blackhawks or Kings…yet. Then again, few expected the quick rise those teams made from the NHL’s basement either.
via the Winnipeg Jets,
The Winnipeg Jets announced they have agreed to terms with 2016 first-round pick and second overall selection Patrik Laine on a three-year NHL Entry-Level Contract worth an average annual value of $3.575 million which includes $2.65 million in bonuses.
Laine, 18, lead his team Tappara, to a Finnish SM-liiga Championship, scoring 33 points (17G, 16A) in 46 regular season games to go along with 15 points (10G, 5A) in 18 playoff games. Laine won the Jari Kurri Award for being the best player in the playoffs. He was also named SM-liiga rookie of the year and had the most points of any rookie in the Finish elite league.
Internationally, he led Finland to an IIHF World Junior Championship win on home soil in Helsinki. He was named to the World Junior Championship all-star team after leading the tournament in goals with seven. Laine was named to Finland’s World Championship Team, winning a silver medal along with being named the World Championship’s Most Valuable Player. Along with his MVP award, he was named to the tournament all-star team and the event’s best forward after recording 12 points (7G, 5A) in 10 games.
Born: Apr. 19, 1998 -- Tampere, Finland
Height 6.04 -- Weight 206 -- Shoots R
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Trouba checks off a lot of the boxes: He’s 6-3, 202 lbs; he’s a right-hand shot; he can play physically; he has an excellent shot, and he can work the power play. All of that and he doesn’t turn 23 until this coming February.
So we asked a couple of scouts whose opinions we trust. Does Trouba, coming off a fall-back season at age 22 have a chance to be a genuine No. 1?
“Look at all the blue-lines across the league,” began an Eastern Conference scout, “and ask who in the league is 25 or younger, who has real big upside? You have to come to Jacob Trouba.
“He can shoot a puck. He’s a heady player. He’s not a fighter, but he can play physically, and he’ll take a hit to make a play. March him forward a couple years, to 25, 26, 27, and you’ll have a Top 1-2 guy. That’s a pretty fair projection for me.”
The feeling, however, was not unanimous.
“For sure I’d say no,” said a Western Conference scout when I asked him if he projected Trouba as a No. 1. “Not unless he gets a lot smarter.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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