While many expected the New York Rangers to lock up defenseman Jacob Trouba quickly after the team acquired the blue liner from Winnipeg in June, that still has not happened.
Now, with a pending date of July 25 for his arbitration hearing, it’s possible Trouba will sign a one-year deal or force arbitration.
In fact, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks suggests Trouba might have a different plan. Trouba could sign a seven-year deal now for around $7.5M per year. However, if he’s willing to bet on himself, the 25-year-old Trouba could turn this into a nine-year deal worth as much as $70M.
Trouba could be looking to sign a one-year deal this summer and then would be eligible to sign an eight-year pact after the trade deadline and cash in at that time.
However, the one flaw in this plan is whether the Rangers are going to be willing to risk losing him for nothing at the end of the year if Trouba decides to sign elsewhere. The Rangers could opt to flip him at the trade deadline if Trouba decides he wants out of New York.
Of course, Trouba gave Winnipeg a short list of teams he would play for and the Rangers were one of those teams. Brooks believes Trouba and the Rangers will come to an agreement on a long-term deal. General manger Jeff Gorton and Trouba’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, have reportedly been conducting extensive negotiations. According to Brooks, Trouba could be trying to get another $15M out of the Rangers.
Another possibility: Trouba struggles in New York, weakening his contract options. The Rangers are ready to commit seven years to him right now. The Rangers view him as a top-line defensive player, but often playing in New York creates new pressures. Trouba has gambled on himself before, signing a one-year deal with Winnipeg last season and proceeded to produce a career-high eight goals and 50 points.