If you're hoping your team adds a quality defenseman any time soon the best place to look may be Winnipeg. Manitoba, Canada.
Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman was a guest on Sportsnet 960 radio and stated he believes that several teams are watching and waiting to see what Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Chevaldayoff will do when it comes to Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien.
“But I do think that Winnipeg’s decisions impact the market the most, and over the next four weeks they’re probably going to determine a lot of what happens," said Friedman as per Nichols on Hockey.
Friedman believes if Byfuglien is the player retained the Jets may look to deal one of the defenseman on their roster prior to the deadline. When asked specifically about 21 year old Jacob Trouba Friedman gave a surprising response.
“If they re-sign Byfuglien, you’ve got to think either one of him or Myers is going to go. Before this year I would have said not a chance. I mean, he was really growing. He was such an improved player. If they re-sign Byfuglien, you’ve got to think one of the two of them is. And I think it all just depends on what is Trouba’s ask.
The Jets have high hopes for Trouba, I'm not so sure they would be willing to trade him as an RFA unless they believe they can get a huge return on investment. However there may also be the issue of his salary demands.
“If they want it long-term, the report was 8 years, $7 million," added Friedman. "Before this year, that was probably in the ballpark. I wonder if now, because he’s had such a difficult year, it becomes more of a bridge deal, and maybe they don’t have to deal him as quickly – or Myers.”
Tyler Myers on the other hand could be a more likely scenario, and despite having a $5.5 million dollar cap hit, his contract was front-loaded and he will only earn $11 million over the course of his next three season. This could make him an ideal trade target for budget concious teams.