‘Disappointed, shocked’ Jacob Trouba could try to block Rangers trade: NHL Insider

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS — In another twist to a possible Jacob Trouba trade by the New York Rangers, there’s now a belief that the Blueshirts captain may try to thwart a deal with strategic use of his 15-team no-trade clause that kicks in Monday.

NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman explained on his post-NHL Draft edition of the 32 Thoughts podcast Saturday that Trouba and his “aggressive” agent Kurt Overhardt may be trying to block a trade out of New York.

It was reported earlier in the week that the Rangers asked Trouba to submit his 15-team no-trade list in advance of July 1 so that general manager Chris Drury could get to work on clearing Trouba’s $8 million salary cap hit from New York’s books. There’s been conflicting chatter as to whether Trouba’s side has yet to present that list, amid increasing rumors that the Rangers are in talks with the Detroit Red Wings about sending the Michigan native back home.

It was also widely believed that Trouba would be open to a move to Detroit.

But Friedman used that scenario to offer the possibility that Trouba could include the Red Wings on his 15-team list to spike a trade and better control his own destiny. There aren’t a lot of teams that can take on Trouba’s cap hit, especially if he’s not a top-four defenseman. In fact, a source close to Detroit confirmed to Forever Blueshirts a Larry Brooks report that the Rangers would have to retain $2.5 million in salary in a possible Trouba trade.

“Will he make it strategic so that places the Rangers might actually be able to trade him to, or think they’ll be able to trade him to, will they be blocked?” Frieddman theorized.

At the crux of this issue with a possible Trouba trade is that this is simply business for the Rangers, who are trying to create more salary cap room ahead of July 1 free agency. But it is a personal issue for the 30-year-old defenseman, who is a heart-and-soul player and leader.

“One of the things that has really made this challenging is that Trouba has struggled with the idea that the Rangers might want to move on from him,” Friedman added.

Brooks had this to add late Sunday night: “If Trouba does not approve a trade to Detroit that is believed in place, he will ultimately be sent somewhere else, perhaps by waivers. The decision has been made.”

Related: Top right-wing options likely available for Rangers when NHL free agency starts Monday

Rangers interest in trading Jacob Trouba is personal issue for their captain

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Trouba’s feelings have not been a major focus of the recent trade speculation. But Friedman delved into that angle and how that could spur him and his representation to push back against the Blueshirts. Until July 1, Trouba has a complete no-move clause in his contract and the Rangers would need his permission to be traded before then. Trouba’s camp could also hold on to his no-trade list until the last minute.

“The one thing I am reasonably certain of is that this whole situation that has developed over the past week or two has been hard on Trouba,” Friedman explained. “Like, if you go back to when he left Winnipeg and was traded by Winnipeg, both the Jets and the player were ready for a divorce. It was time for both to move on, and they did. In this particular case, the Rangers may have decided for cap reasons that they may need to do this, but that doesn’t mean that Trouba is ready for this. I think he was disappointed. I think he was shocked.”

Friedman added that he was told Saturday that a possible Trouba trade “is not close,” perhaps because the Rangers efforts are being thwarted.

“This is far, far more of a challenge than you (the media) think it’s going to be,” Friedman said he was told.

Of course, the Rangers could have a mess on their hands if a trade doesn’t go down and they must mend fences with the player who wears the C on his sweater. Then again, the Rangers could put Trouba on waivers and hope he and his entire cap hit the next two seasons are claimed, as was the case with Barclay Goodrow when he was claimed by the San Jose Sharks.

So, it’s appearing more and more that this hasn’t been, and isn’t going to be, easy or comfortable.

But moving on from Trouba’s contract in one fashion or another is a crucial factor in how the Rangers go about the rest of their business and roster building this offseason.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

Mentioned in this article:

More About: