Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
I think we all know that we wouldn’t be in this situation right now if it wasn’t a young man’s game,” said Kurt Overhardt, who represents Trouba. “Part of it is systemic. But the other part is the skill level of players coming out of junior and college and Europe is pretty incredible.
“We’ve got 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds playing huge roles on teams. And at 22 years old, a player doe
sn’t want to stay around waiting if he thinks his ability is greater than the opportunity he’s been given, because there’s really great players in front of him.”...
As Group 2 restricted free agents, neither Trouba nor Lindholm has much in the way of negotiating leverage. So they sit and wait, while hoping their absence forces their respective teams — Winnipeg is 1-1-0 and Anaheim is 0-2-1 — into making a deal.
“The season is more than three games,” said player agent Claude Lemieux, who represents Lindholm. “Trying to get a long-term deal is more than just the performance of the team during a short period of time. There’s definitely motivation from both sides to try and get a deal done.”
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Regarding the Rangers, who already will have completed more than 1/40 of their season after Monday’s match at the Garden against Stanley Cup finalist San Jose:
My, how time flies when you’re taking care of the defensive zone.
Yes indeed, wayward Winnipeg right defenseman Jacob Trouba fills a crying need for the Rangers, both in present and future tense, and the Blueshirts might well be able to get him for, say, Brady Skjei and Chris Kreider, maybe even for Skjei and J.T. Miller. They might as well add Dylan McIlrath to the package.
But that price is too high, even if it is obvious that the Blueshirts’ right side is questionable at full strength and already stressed attempting to cope with injuries to Dan Girardi (sidelined indefinitely with the hip flexor he sustained Saturday) and Kevin Klein (perhaps in against the Sharks after missing the first two with lower back problems). It is too high even if it seems at first blush as if the Rangers have an abundance of wingers.
There is no rush. The clock on Trouba, the 22-year-old unsigned free agent who is seeking a trade, won’t begin to tick meaningfully until the NHL’s Dec. 1 sign-or-else deadline comes into focus.
continued plus more on the Rangers...
from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
- The Winnipeg Jets’ defenceman, a restricted free agent, isn’t in camp and has demanded a trade but GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is telling anybody who has picked up the phone to call him that Trouba isn’t going to get his wish for a deal unless the franchise gets exactly what it wants in return.
In this case, Trouba, 22, is a right-shot defencemen so the Jets are going to want a player in a similar age bracket with the same kind of potential he has.
“Why would anybody want to do something like that?” a league executive asked Insider Trading on Saturday afternoon.
You can criticize Cheveldayoff for being slow to pull in the trigger in the past but in this case he has every right to make Trouba wait....
- Anybody else think the Anaheim Ducks are ripe for plucking? After signing forward Rickard Rakell to a five-year contract extension at an average of $3.8 million per-season Friday, the Ducks have more than $72.6 million committed in cap space, according to generalfanager.com. That leaves them with just over $300,000 in space remaining with restricted free agent blueliner Hampus Lindholm left to sign. There is belief among some NHL executives the Ducks are sitting in a precarious position — although part of goaltender Jonathan Bernier’s $4.1 million deal is being picked up by the Leafs — and they would be better be careful somebody doesn’t swoop in and slap an offer sheet down for Lindholm, 22, that Anaheim GM Bob Murray would be forced to match.
more on each of the above topics plus other notes....
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
You have to feel for Jets centre Bryan Little.
The 10-year NHL veteran missed the last 25 games of last season with a neck injury and hadn’t played a regular season game in more than seven months.
He was so looking forward to getting back into the lineup after a long off-season of skating on his own and training hard to get into game shape.
His first game back lasted all of two minutes and 48 seconds of ice time.
Little got tangled up with Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell and suffered a lower body injury. He had trouble getting up and even when he did manage to stand, he fell back down before limping off the ice and heading straight to the dressing room. He did not return.
Jets coach Paul Maurice was not able to provide an update on the severity of Little’s injury.
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
Asked about the status of defenceman Jacob Trouba on the eve of Thursday’s season-opener and how he feels now that the situation has come to Trouba missing games that count, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff gave the status quo, no-comment answer.
“I’d really like to elaborate on different things like that,” he said. “But we’re not going to comment on the situation other than the fact we’ll deal with whatever we have to deal with and do whatever’s right for the organization.”
Once a cornerstone of the team’s future — the Jets drafted him in the first round in 2012 — Trouba wants out, a stark contrast to the recent eight-year commitment made by 2011 first-rounder Mark Scheifele.
Perhaps he doesn’t like the city. Perhaps it’s about the money. Perhaps it’s a combination.
Either way, the 22-year-old, restricted free agent sits and waits for a trade that might never happen, helping nobody — not even himself.
more on Trouba and the Jets...
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Jacob Trouba is a decent young defenceman in the NHL, asking for the moon, now playing the waiting game. He wants too much money and too much term and an assurance of sorts that he gets to play his side of choice, which has led to his wanting to be traded by the Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets, meanwhile, have asked for way too much in trade talks for Trouba, asking prices some NHL general managers are calling unreasonable. So who blinks first here? The 22 year old or the team?
It’s not a great position for either side to take, frankly, but most of the leverage sits with the club, which could use Trouba, make him sit, or trade him for something of quality. Right now, neither side is winning. Trouba isn’t in camp, won’t be getting paid when the season starts, and doesn’t really have a team. And the Jets don’t have the player or a return. Until further notice, everybody is a loser in this scenario.
more observations from Simmons, mostly on the World Cup...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The Jets have been in build mode for a long time. They require players who can contribute now, namely a left-shot defenseman to slot ahead of Toby Enstrom and ex-Bruin Mark Stuart and complement righties Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers.
So while the Bruins would love to add Trouba’s right-shot touch to replace Hamilton (and Johnny Boychuk, for that matter), they don’t have Winnipeg’s preferred piece. Yes, Torey Krug is a left-shot defenseman, young, and under control for four seasons at $5.25 million annually. He would help any team’s power play, including Winnipeg’s.
But Trouba is an all-around, minutes-gobbling, do-it-all horse. Krug has improved his five-on-five game, but he will never be known as a go-to penalty killer (just 38 shorthanded seconds per appearance last season). Of Trouba’s 22:03 of average ice time last season, 2:43 took place on the penalty kill, while he logged 1:17 on the power play.
Trouba has the foundation of becoming the next iteration of Drew Doughty. The Bruins could only land Trouba if they sent Krug on his flight to Winnipeg with a fellow passenger. The Jets would ask for David Pastrnak. Whether that price would be palatable for the Bruins is difficult to determine.
more on Trouba plus other hockey topics...
from Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun,
If I’m the Winnipeg Jets, I’m not trading Jacob Trouba just because he wants out.
There’s simply too much on the line.
Winnipeg is a small market and not a particularly desirable one for NHL players with many attractive options.
The Jets are a draft and develop team because they have to be to have any hope of being successful. It’s imperative they hold on to the assets they acquire through the draft.
To have a 22-year-old player with three seasons under his belt demand a trade because he’s unhappy is a terrible sign.
To cave to that player would be even worse.
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
But Laine has never, ever, experienced anything like a cutthroat NHL training camp before.
And the first few days of his first one with the Winnipeg Jets have opened his eyes and screamed into his ears: he's not in Finland, or even the pro league in Switzerland, anymore.
“We don't normally have nothing like the training camp,” Laine said, Wednesday. “Everybody comes to the practice and we don't have to kind of race (for) the spots on the team. We just come there and practise and then play. And we don't have that many guys there. We just have the team and we're just practising with them.
“Here you have those guys that want to take your spot and want to be ahead of you in the roster. Back home there's no such thing.”
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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