Rumours have been flying left and right with what the Winnipeg Jets are going to do with Jacob Trouba. This hasn’t been an irrational and baseless sequence of speculation, there is lots of uncertainty with Trouba. The restricted free agent has a high ceiling and could become a great defenseman in the league, there isn’t much doubt about Trouba’s potential. But the Jets are rather loaded with right shot defenseman and because of this, a long term extension might not be logical. If Trouba’s sticking point in negotiations is a long term deal, the Jets may have to party ways with their 22 year old defenseman.
Many teams will certainly give Kevin Cheveldayoff a call regarding the young D-man, but one team in particular that has reportedly expressed interest is the Colorado Avalanche. Trade talks have been surrounding two of the teams stars in Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie but chatter of Barrie being on the move has been silenced with Avs general manager Joe Sakic reiterating that the team won’t move Barrie.
This opens the window to speculate if a trade could be had between the two teams involving Duchene and Trouba. Should Kevin Cheveldayoff give Joe Sakic a call about a deal regarding the two?
After missing the playoffs for a second consecutive year, the Avalanche may want to shake up their. That very well could entail trading a core piece and Duchene could be a prime candidate to be on his way out. With the team likely giving big raises to restricted free agents Nathan Mackinnon and Tyson Barrie along with paying their goalie of the future in Calvin Pickard, the books could be getting tight in Colorado. The Avs might not mind trading Duchene if it means they get to pay all their restricted free agents and have more cap room to do so.
The Avs and Jets could be great trade partners here and could work out an even deal.
What are the pros and cons of this kind of trade for Winnipeg?
The Jets would be acquiring Matt Duchene. We could end the pro element of this segment right there and then. But let’s dive in to why that’d be so significant for this team. Duchene is one of the fastest skaters in the league that can also put up 25-30 goals in a season.
Duchene would provide the Jets with another top line centre and create an excellent 1 2 punch with Mark Scheifele down the middle. This kind of move could really accelerate the Jets forward and make them instant contenders to make the playoffs next year, and maybe make a pretty good run in the playoffs. Duchene is 25 years old and has his best hockey ahead of him, the 30 goals he notched last year should be a sign of good things to come.
If you slot Duchene in to the Jets lineup next season, the Jets would have quite an impressive top six up front and increased depth at the forward position.
2016-2017 Depth Chart with Duchene
Not too shabby, eh?
A move like this would help the Jets more than it would hurt them. While there is a solid chance that losing Trouba could be a hard pill to swallow in a few years, a trade may need to happen for the better of the team. The Jets have Byfuglien and Myers locked up on the right side and signing a third defenseman to a pricey deal could be problematic. Another thing to take in account is that if Trouba re-signs with the Jets, Winnipeg would have to choose between Trouba and Myers sooner rather than later, especially with the looming NHL expansion draft.
That’s a tough decision to make and Winnipeg wouldn’t let one of the two left exposed and left for nothing, so a trade would be the likely outcome.
Now, when weighing what either player could fetch on the trade market, one would think Trouba could fetch more and if Duchene were to be dangled, they should take that deal in a heartbeat.
If Trouba blossoms in to the defenseman that many believe that he can become, the Jets will have a Tyler Seguin esque situation on their hands. Trading a young player that seemingly has much more to give is always difficult and a decision that won’t be an easy one. Along with that, there isn’t much security in acquiring someone like Duchene.
The problem being, Duchene is 3 years away from free agency and there is no indication that he wouldn’t bolt at his first chance to get out of Winnipeg.
It’s no secret that players aren’t exactly flocking to come play in Winnipeg. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. For a second consecutive season the Winnipeg Jets ( along with the Edmonton Oilers) popped up the most on NHL agents clients no trade teams, in a poll run by ESPN’s Craig Custance.
Even without the data from that poll, smart Winnipeg Jets fans can put two and two together. While the city has it’s many perks, the cold climate and small population may not be enough to keep a very good player like Matt Duchene from jumping ship when teams start calling when he becomes a free agent in a couple years.
Yes, that decision wouldn’t be until a few years down the road obviously and this is purely a hypothetical situation, but it’s still a big factor. One would think that with Duchene inserted in to the teams lineup, the team would be competitive and maybe even close to contending status in the next year or two, but there are many ifs and buts associated this hypothetical scenarios.
Would it be worth it for the Jets to explore this deal if it meant they’d be losing a potential franchise defenseman for the next 5-7 years for a top line centre for only a guaranteed 3 years?
We’ve weighed the pros and cons to this situation, should the Jets explore this trade and get the ball rolling on this kind of move?
Let us know on twitter @NHLJetsNation. You can follow Jacob on twitter @NHLStoller.