New Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is at the helm in Hockeytown, and fans have every right to be excited. Not just with the cache that the Captain naturally brings, but because they’ve all seen what he did during his time with the Tampa Bay Lighting – turning them into a powerhouse and yearly contender for the Stanley Cup.
Whether Yzerman chooses to build the Red Wings through the draft, via trade, or free agency (or all three) remains to be seen. One such move that could be made would be bringing aboard Winnipeg Jets defenseman (and native Michigander) Jacob Trouba.
Set to be a restricted free-agent, Trouba hails from Rochester Hills and attended the University of Michigan where he played from 2012-13. His cap hit last year with the Jets was $5.5 million. And he hasn’t exactly been shy about noncommittal to the Winnipeg Jets, having requested a trade and constantly appearing in trade rumors.
Of course, with a logjam on Detroit’s blue line, fitting Trouba could be tricky. Veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall is contemplating retirement; should he opt to hang up the skates, that frees up $4,750,000 in cap space.
However, the team still has Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley on the books through next season. Mike Green should be able to play more next season after being shelved this year due to a constant battle with a viral infection. Hypothetically, should Detroit bring in Trouba while also retaining Ericsson and Daley, only three available open positions would remain for Dennis Cholowski, Filip Hronek, and Madison Bowey.
Could Yzerman consider a buyout for Ericsson or Daley to facilitate Trouba? Only time will tell. But because Trouba is a restricted free agent, Detroit would have to either sign him to an offer sheet, or trade for his rights before July 1. A restricted free agent (RFA) can sign an offer sheet with any team, but the player’s original team can retain him by matching the terms of that offer. The original team is said to have the “right of first refusal.”
Would you rather see Jacob Trouba in Detroit rather than another year of Jonathan Ericsson? Count me in!