Momentum building for Rangers to trade Jacob Trouba

NHL: New York Rangers at Detroit Red Wings
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS — A possible trade of New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba is gaining momentum here during Day 2 of the 2024 NHL Draft at Sphere.

Chatter has picked up about a rumored trade in which the Rangers would move Trouba to the Detroit Red Wings to open up needed space under the salary cap ahead of NHL free agency, which begins Monday.

To that end, NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman said as much Saturday morning on Sportsnet.

“There’s a lot of talk about Detroit and the Rangers continuing to work on a Jacob Trouba deal, and I think there’s some hope that can be consummated today,” Friedman reported. “It’s in the hands of the two teams right now to see if they can work it out.”

Trouba has a no-move clause in his contract that switches to a 15-team no-trade on Monday. The only way Trouba could be traded now is with his permission.

The Rangers did ask Trouba for his 15-team list earlier this week, a sign that general manager Chris Drury wanted to get to work sooner rather than later to see if he could clear Trouba’s $8 million salary cap hit for the next two seasons.

Citing a “well-placed source,” Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported Saturday that the Rangers and Red Wings are working on a trade and that the Blueshirts would retain $2.5 million each of the final two seasons of Trouba’s contract. That still works out to $5.5 million in salary cap savings each season, though it also means the Rangers would need to replace Trouba in their top six on defense.

Trouba is a Michigan native and attended the University of Michigan, so it’s likely he’d accept a deal to the Red Wings. That’s especially so because the Red Wings are on the rise with a talented young roster, a team that just missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past season.

NHL Insider Frank Seravelli added fuel to the fire two days ago when he explained that Trouba is a tradeable asset and not simply an overpaid veteran New York is looking to simply dump.

“With only two years left on that deal ($8 million per season), teams might not love the cap hit but he has positive trade equity,” Seravelli said on the Daily Faceoff Rundown podcast. “This isn’t a guy that you’re dumping. He’s still an intense physical leader that when you have a team that’s been a non-playoff team, you need guys like Jacob Trouba to help get you there.

“For some team, for two years, that’s a worthy experiment if you have lots of cap space.”

Related: Top right-wing options expected to be available for Rangers in NHL free agency

Rangers, Red Wings working on trade involving Jacob Trouba

NHL: New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils
John Jones-USA TODAY SportsCredit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Both Rangers general manager Chris Drury and his Red Wings counterpart Steve Yzerman are notoriously tight-lipped about their business. Drury hasn’t spoken to reporters since right after New York’s Eastern Conference Final loss to the Florida Panthers, and Yzerman has been equally as quiet.

Many here in Las Vegas have linked the two teams, however, and it is widely believed by people Forever Blueshirts has spoken to that Trouba trade talks are progressing.

Right now, the Rangers have $13.695 million in projected cap space. They still need to re-sign RFA defensemen Ryan Lindgren and Braden Schneider, and are looking for a top-six right wing, 6/7 defenseman and possibly fourth-line forward. They’d need a regular in the top six on defense, as well, if Trouba is traded.

Trouba has played five seasons with the Rangers after being acquired in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets. He’s been captain the past two seasons and is New York’s most physical player, a punishing and intimidating body checker. His play dipped this past season, especially after returning from a broken ankle late in the regular season. He struggled in the playoffs.

However, he remained a staple on the top penalty killing unit and logged important minutes throughout the postseason despite finishing on the bottom pairing with Erik Gustafsson.

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

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