The big NHL news over the weekend came when the agent for Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba announced on Saturday night that his client, still unsigned as a restricted free agent, is requesting a trade from the team so he can put himself into a better position to fully develop as a player. The Jets responded by saying that they are working to resolve the matter but are going to operate with the team’s best long-term interests in mind, and that they still view Trouba as a long-term piece of their team. As we have seen over the past year, trade requests don’t always turn into a trade, even in situations where the player-team relationship seemed beyond repair as was the case with Jonathan Drouin and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks would be an interesting spot because it’s not like they need an upgrade on their blue line, because it’s already a pretty good group.
It’s plausible – yet not guaranteed – that Derick Brassard will be better next season than the player he was traded for, Mika Zibanejad. Plenty of New York Rangers fans are justified in being excited about the long-term impact of the move, and not merely because of the second-round pick they received in the swap. Zibanejad is a lot younger than Brassard. Even if Brassard ages well at 29, his Swedish trade counterpart is merely 23. The Rangers, quite reasonably, wonder if Zibanejad’s best days are still ahead of him. “He’s a younger player that our scouting staff and our management all felt he was on the upswing,” Vigneault said to the Rangers’ website. “The speed is there. The skill is there.
Earlier today, PHT writer Adam Gretz made compelling cases for the Ducks, Bruins, Rangers, and Avalanche to take a run at Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba. But allow me to add one more team to the potential mix — the Detroit Red Wings, who could really use a 22-year-old, right-shot defenseman who skates well and has good offensive instincts. The Wings also have a surplus of forwards to work with. While Dylan Larkin is probably untouchable, Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar probably aren’t. Or perhaps a youngster like Andreas Athanasiou or Anthony Mantha would interest the Jets. The question the Wings may run into, should they make a push for Trouba, is whether they’d be willing to part with Danny