Why extension talks with Jacob Trouba may prove difficult

Thomas Drance
December 01 2015 07:56PM

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Jacob Trouba is really good and the Winnipeg Jets shouldn't consider trading him, even if the return is a No. 1 defenseman on a team-friendly contract who hails from Manitoba originally and would love nothing more than to come home

Thankfully for Jets fans, all signs point to the club being completely unwilling to part ways with the 22-year-old two-way defender. 

While the latest reports suggest that Trouba will not be dangled as trade bait in a potential Travis Hamonic deal, an increasingly common theme in the reporting of the most plugged in insiders in the industry is that working out a contract extension with Trouba could prove difficult for the Jets.

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Friedman: Islanders 'said no' to Jets offer of Byfuglien for Hamonic

Thomas Drance
November 30 2015 10:36AM

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Photo Credit: Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports

The status of key pending unrestricted free agents stars Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd is the biggest Winnipeg Jets story going this season.

There are a variety of other interesting Jets subplots - from how Connor Hellebuyck and Nikolaj Ehlers fare in their first taste of NHL action, to how the Jets sort through contract issues with pending restricted players like Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele - but how this small market (albeit successful) club opts to deal with Ladd and Byfuglien is a bigger, global-type issue.

Do the Jets believe in this core group of players? Are they willing to let one or both of Ladd and Byfuglien walk? These are easily the biggest questions facing this organization this season. And of late, this mammoth quandary has intersected with the availability of New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic - a Manitoba-born defenseman eager to play for the Jets. 

On Monday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman - who recently opined that the Jets re-engaged Byfuglien in contract extension talks in the context of getting their ducks in a row on the Hamonic front - suggested in a radio appearance on Sportsnet 960 that the Jets have offered the Islanders a Byfuglien for Hamonic swap. Obviously it wasn't enough to convince the Islanders to do the deal.

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Trouba catches Wild's Granlund with high shoulder check; will he be hearing from the DoPS?

Thomas Drance
November 27 2015 03:37PM

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Photo Credit: Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

Though Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba has struggled offensively to start the 2015-16 campaign, his physical game has always been on point.

The young Jets defenseman often throws his weight around with reckless abandon, and packs a larger wallop than one would expect considering his stature. On Friday afternoon, Trouba threw a vicious shoulder check on Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund.

There was no penalty assessed on the play, but considering the level and force of contact that Trouba made with Granlund's head, it wouldn't be a complete shock if this hit were escalated for further review by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

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Forbes values Jets at $350 million; 20th among NHL franchises in 2015

Thomas Drance
November 24 2015 10:25AM

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Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck/USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets are a small market team. Winnipeg may be 'small' relative to the size of some of the other metropolitan areas which act as host cities for the NHL 29 other member clubs, but it's a loyal and ravenous hockey market, which allows the Jets to punch above their weight in terms of revenue and operating income.

All of which is to say that the Jets may rank 30th in hockey in terms of the size of the metro area in which their team is located, but they're in the top two-thirds of the league in franchise value, according to Forbes' 2015 NHL franchise valuations.

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Jets recall Connor Hellebuyck in the wake of apparent Pavelec injury

Thomas Drance
November 22 2015 10:21AM

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Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck/USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets have recalled goaltender Connor Hellebuyck from the Manitoba Moose, the organization announced on Sunday.

It's not a surprising roster maneuver, as usual Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec sustained an apparent injury when he was violently run by Arizona Coyotes forward Shane Doan on Saturday night. Pavelec reportedly left the MTS centre on crutches.

Though Hellebuyck is untested at the NHL level, it will be extremely interesting to see what he can do as part of a goalie tandem with Michael Hutchinson.

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