It seems like veteran defenseman Jacob Trouba is destined to play somewhere other than Winnipeg next season.
The conflict between Trouba and his current team have been well documented over the years and it has become quite clear that Trouba values his skills far more than the Jets as an organization do. The 2 sides have already had 2 bitter arbitration battles with one another and with Trouba set to become a restricted free agent once again this summer it seems like the clock is finally ticking on Trouba and the Jets.
The reality of the situation is that the Winnipeg Jets are a budget team and one that has a huge number of players that will be entering free agency come the summer. Among those players is veteran defenseman Tyler Myers, a player that was acquired as part of the trade involving former Winnipeg Jet and current San Jose Sharks' forward Evander Kane, and the belief is that the Jets would rather keep Myers than Trouba. In order to do so the organization would have to finally move Trouba via a trade during the summer, but the question is which teams would have interest in him?
One of the biggest issues for Trouba during his first contract holdout was the way in which he was being utilized by the Winnipeg Jets. Trouba felt that the team was not using him on his strong side and therefore was diminishing his value by making him play a role that he was not well suited to play. I imagine this would be a big factor in Trouba agreeing to sign any type of new deal with another National Hockey League team, although he currently does not have any trade protection on his deal. That being said any team acquiring Trouba would likely want to negotiate with his agent before pulling the trigger to avoid putting themselves in the same situation the Jets have been dealing with for the past several years.
That does not really narrow things down all that much but this week TSN National Hockey League insider Frank Seravalli appeared to hint at 2 possible teams that could have interest. From Seravalli:
Speaking of control, this is the final year the Winnipeg Jets have defenceman Jacob Trouba under restricted free agent control, which is why the 50-point defenceman will likely be on the move. The Jets will have a tough time trying to fit him in under their salary cap structure. Would Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings or the Colorado Avalanche make a play for Trouba.
There are rumblings that the emergence of rookie defenseman Cale Makar has made defenseman Tyson Barrie somewhat expendable for the Avalanche and as a result Barrie's name is back out on the trading block as well. Should the Avalanche move Barrie they would almost certainly have room to bring in Trouba to bolster their blue line. Yzerman and the Red Wings are a bit more of an eyebrow raiser here. If Yzerman does feel he can accelerate his rebuild by using his cap space, adding a solid defenseman like Jacob Trouba to your blue line would not be a bad way to go about it.