Analyzing the Jacob Trouba deal

Updated: November 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm by Jacob Stoller

The Jacob Trouba holdout has come to an end. According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Jacob Trouba has signed a two-year contact with an AAV of 3 million dollars. That’s a particularly low cap hit for a player that likely turned down a longer tenured deal with the Jets, in the hopes of getting out of Winnipeg as soon as possible. 

Why does the contract carry such short length along with a small cap hit? I think it’s pretty safe to say this kind of deal was designed to attract teams to trade for Trouba and ultimately to increase the value of Trouba. 

Trouba signing this deal wasn’t a sign of wanting to get back to Winnipeg as fast he can. Rather, hoping to get out of Winnipeg as fast as he can.  

24 days before the December 1st deadline, Jacob Trouba caved. But what other option did the Restricted Free Agent have? Sit out the whole year? Trouba, or any athlete for that matter, simply can’t afford to sit out an entire year over contract/usage demands. They would lose far more than they would gain. By sitting out the whole year, Trouba would have likely not only plummeted his stock on the trade market, but most importantly, hindered his own performance and ability in the process.

But Jets fans, don’t get too comfortable with the notion of Jacob Trouba signing with the Winnipeg Jets. He may not be around with Winnipeg for much longer. From Trouba’s end, his views on his long-term fit in Winnipeg likely haven’t changed. The Jets likely continue to explore the trade market and giving Trouba such a low cap-hit, further increases the value he has on the market. The contact likely will see Trouba play a handful of games in a Jets uniform for the purpose of working the rust off along with showcasing what he can do for potential buyers. 

Signing a bridge deal allows Trouba to re-up with a team ( likely one that isn’t the Jets) quite quickly. 

The contract helps both sides. Trouba gets an opportunity to get back in to game-shape with the team and he gets the opportunity to prove he’s worth a top right-side defenseman spot. And for the Jets, they have a player with lots of value that has a easily moveable low cap-hit, Trouba’s trade value escalates and thus the package the Jets would get in return would as well. 

Trouba’s situation parallels to another one of his agent Kurt Overhardt client’s, Kyle Turris. Back in 2011, Turris was in a contract stalemate with the Pheonix Coyotes. Similar to Trouba, Turris signed a bridge deal weeks before the deadline in hopes of being traded. His wish was granted and Turris was shipped off to the Ottawa Senators on November 22nd. 

For both parties sake, one would hope that Trouba can play consistently and efficiently when he suits up for the Jets. For the Jets to satisfy Trouba’s trade request, Trouba will have to put his money where his mouth is and show he is a top right pairing defender to increase his value. And for the Jets sake, one would hope Trouba can preform well enough that along with his low-cap hit they can score a high-valued return for the defenseman. The Jets aren’t going to trade a declining asset.

The Jets originally seeked a left handed defenseman with equal or more value to Jacob Trouba, but that is pretty hard-pressed to find. The Jets likely will be looking at acquiring a left handed defenseman that may not be up to par with Trouba, but a kicker of a pick or prospect could even the deal out. 

It’s hard to really find an angle where the Jets and Trouba find a happy ending where Trouba stays a Jet for the remainder of the season or even a good chunk of his career. With the way the contact is constructed, it looks like a trade is imminent.