Brooks turns Trouba trade rumors on its head

Trouba (Getty Images)

When it comes to the “who’s who” of New York Rangers reporters, Hall of Famer Larry Brooks is tops. So it is only natural that his latest column sent shockwaves not only through the Blueshirts base but also the Isles and Devils.

Breaking Down Brooks

A few key notes before we get into where I feel Brooks is diving into speculation versus actual names being discussed.

  1. There are up to a dozen teams in on Trouba
  2. The Islanders and Devils are in on him
  3. Winnipeg has not allowed Trouba’s agent to speak with teams yet

First and foremost, as I was told by my source with the Rangers, Trouba is a very popular player right now. That was backed up by a former Jets player that is certain Trouba is on his way out by the draft.

When it comes to suitors, published reports have mentioned the Rangers, Red Wings, Panthers, Lightning, Flyers, and L.A. Kings. The Islanders and Devils haven’t been mentioned till now and I’m not sure they have what it takes to get a deal done anyway.

Brooks confirms a report by Mark Easson that I misread and erroneously stated the Jets gave Trouba’s agent permission to talk with teams about an extension. I apologize for that, but it doesn’t alter the Jets game plan to trade Trouba before the draft.

Trade Speculation?

This is where Brooks sends the Rangers fanbase off the rails. At first he confirms what I’ve been hearing for a week, the Jets demand is high and they want a first round pick, prospects, and roster player (preferably a young one). Now comes what I am sure is speculation, especially since he uses the word COULD.

The Rangers, of course, own Winnipeg’s first-rounder at 20th overall, as part of the bounty — Brendan Lemieux, too — obtained in the lend-lease deal for Kevin Hayes. General manager Jeff Gorton, whom we are told is pushing mighty hard for Trouba, could offer that pick, impending restricted free agent Pavel Buchnevich and, perhaps, Nils Lundkvist to the Jets.

Brooks NYPOST

Obviously, Brooks didn’t stop there and even mentioned would Gorton do it if they ask for Lias Andersson too? As far as the Islanders and Devils are concerned, he almost flippantly includes the Isles prized defense prospect Noah Dobson. I spoke with two Islanders beat writers who basically dismissed that. Same with the three Devils prospects.

When I reached out to my source with the Rangers about the proposals, the immediate response was “what would we gain by doing that?” Which was music to my ears as soon as the sentence concluded. Trading away Pavel Buchnevich or Lias Andersson makes little to no sense for the Rangers. Of course, you can’t obtain Trouba for nothing so the Rangers will have to give something off the roster for sure.

Reports also surfaced yesterday that Jimmy Vesey is being shopped around with Buffalo aggressively asking for him. A trade package of the 20th overall pick, Jimmy Vesey or Vlad Namestnikov, and a highly touted prospect Nils Lundkvist could be what gets it done…if Trouba wants to come to NY.

Trouba in Control

Trouba (James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports)

The ability to sign Trouba is the other thing that fails to be addressed here. Trouba is an RFA that can become a UFA next summer if an extension can’t get worked out. That’s why the whole league can come after him and it won’t matter. The Michigan boy who has a home in Florida may have his heart already set on a destination.

Of course, part of his issues with Winnipeg was a logjam on the right side and getting the playing time he feels he deserves. Well, a trade to the NY Rangers vaults him to our best defenseman and the anchor of the blue-line for years to come. That may not be the case in Florida or Tampa. That’s why I believe Detroit and NY are the favorites.

Finally, Brooks dives into really deep waters when it comes to buyouts. There is no way the Rangers are buying out both Smith and Shattenkirk. It’s just not financially responsible from a cap stand point. When it comes to buyouts, the 1st window closes June 30th, right before the opening bell of free agency. If they can land Trouba and are unable to make additional cap space via trade, then a buyout of Smith is possible.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

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