Jacob Trouba

Jacob Trouba's contract isn't a road map for Charlie McAvoy's Bruins deal

Jacob Trouba's contract isn't a road map for Charlie McAvoy's Bruins deal

Jacob Trouba is a right shot, restricted free agent defenseman who plays in the Eastern Conference.

This is about all that the 25-year-old Trouba has in common with unsigned Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy after Trouba signed a seven-year, $56 million contract last week with the New York Rangers that will make him the No. 1 defenseman on Broadway for the foreseeable future for a rebuilding group of Blueshirts.

Well, they will also have shared David Quinn as a head coach when Trouba starts playing for the Rangers this fall.

But that’s it. That’s all, folks.

Some will attempt to draw Trouba in as a comparable to McAvoy in contract talks between the young D-man and the Boston Bruins, and on the surface that might make some sense. In simple terms, they are both RFAs and they both play the defenseman position, and they are both in the “future/possible No. 1 defenseman” category.

But they are far from comparable as players. Trouba is an established player who hit 50 points last season, played all 82 games and averaged 22:53 of ice time during a strong final campaign with the Winnipeg Jets.

Trouba has topped 22 minutes of ice time per game in all but one of his six solid NHL seasons with Winnipeg, and has averaged seven goals and 30 points over the course of a Jets career that began as an 18-year-old D-man prodigy. He’s missed time with injuries over the years and he’s clearly a two-way defenseman rather than “offensive defenseman” when it comes to performance.

But Trouba is also exactly what the scouts are looking for as a top D-man with the size (6-foot-3, 202-pounds), skating and ability to do a lot of different things well while winning his share of battles in the defensive zone.

McAvoy is one of the aforementioned No. 1 prototype defensemen as well, but he’s still very much in-the-making when it comes to development. McAvoy has played two NHL seasons as he hits restricted free agency for the first time this summer, and lags far behind Trouba when it comes to actually proving his potential.

At the same crossroads in their development, Trouba signed a two-year, $6 million contract extension and then followed that up with a one-year deal in Winnipeg for $5.5 million this past season. All the while, whispers about trades and offer sheets were out there for Trouba as it was clear the Winnipeg D-man was looking to get back to a US market at some point.

That finally happened with the trade to New York.

McAvoy, on the other hand, has topped out at seven goals and 32 points in the better of his two NHL seasons (his rookie campaign) and has missed a whopping 47 games due to injuries in his first two seasons. So there is still much more to be proven by the 21-year-old before he gets the kind of massive payday that Trouba just leveraged with New York.

McAvoy also can’t be tendered with an offer sheet by other NHL teams this summer because he has fewer than three full years of NHL service based on the 40-game rule adopted by the league when it comes to restricted free agents. His only two options are to sign the contract offer given to him by the Bruins or sit out the NHL regular season if he isn’t satisfied by what the Bruins offer him.  

Trouba’s last contract is much more along the line of what McAvoy can expect this time around with his second contract, whether it’s a short-term bridge deal or something in the six-year, $36 million range that comparable players like Esa Lindell and others signed.   

The best course of action for both the Bruins and McAvoy, as we’ve mentioned a couple of times?

It would be sign a bridge contract for a couple of years where the young D-man gets the $5-6 million per season based on his closest comparable players (Lindell, for one), and puts together the kind of dominant seasons that would put him closer to the Trouba/Ekblad max contract neighborhood a couple of years from now that he’s clearly aspiring to at this point.

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Morning Skate: End of an era for Kaiton, Carolina

NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Morning Skate: End of an era for Kaiton, Carolina

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling for all the good journalists and newspaper people losing their jobs at the New York Daily News. It’s a tough damn time to be in the news business.  

*It’s the end of an era for the Carolina Hurricanes as the only radio play-by-play man that the franchise has ever known, Chuck Kaiton, will be moving on after 39 years that started with the Whale in Hartford. Kaiton and the Hurricanes couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract, and the team will simply simulcast the TV broadcast via the radio instead. Sounds kind of Mickey Mouse to me, honestly, and it’s no way to treat a great employee for nearly four decades of service.  

*Speaking of the Hurricanes, the NHL Network discusses the future of forward Jeff Skinner. That’s certainly a name to keep an eye on if you’re a Bruins fan. 

*The Atlantic Division from the Buffalo perspective, where it sure seems like Tampa, Toronto and Boston are going to be impossible to catch up with anytime soon. Florida might be able to sneak in some of these years as a wild card. But I certainly wouldn’t want to be Buffalo, Ottawa, Detroit or Montreal right now and be forced to play long rebuild knowing you might not sniff the playoffs for the next five years.  

*Pro Hockey Talk asks if Jacob Trouba’s time with the Winnipeg Jets is coming to an end. It would appear that way given their salary cap situation and given that Trouba’s price tag keeps going up. The window would appear to be closed on Trouba coming to Boston after they had interest a couple of years ago, so where would he go?

*Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan spent his day with the Stanley Cup honoring the legacy of the legendary, late Herb Brooks

*My NHL Trade Rumors provides an early look at next summer’s class of free agent defensemen and goalies, and there are some massive names on that prospective list. 

*For something completely different: The breakdown of the Aquaman trailer has some pretty good info nuggets about the background of the movie. 

Morning Skate: Time for Trouba to make the Jets pay?


Morning Skate: Time for Trouba to make the Jets pay?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while thinking it really all comes down to simply knowing right from wrong. It’s that simple.

*Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba could really make the Jets pay with his next contract after the acrimonious bridge deal he signed as a restricted free agent.

*A 42-year-old hockey player named Kevin Porter refuses to give up on his dream of chasing a pro hockey career.

It’s story time with FOH (Friend of Haggs) Adrian Dater as he relays the tale of breaking the news about Denver’s offer for an NHL franchise.

*Two things here: One is the story itself about Rasmus Ristolainen and what kind of role is best for the Sabres D-man. The second point is really a request for everybody to get rid of “The Curious Case of...” to start a story. It’s been overused and it’s no longer clever or unique. Let’s put it away for a while, shall we?

*PHT writer James O’Brien has a salute for the retirement of Pierre-Luc Letourneau LeBlond after some pretty awesome fights at the NHL level.

*A stick salute to both the Red Wings and the NHL for scrambling to quickly craft statements yesterday admonishing and distancing themselves from the disgusting white supremacist groups in Virginia after they used the Red Wings logo on their hate paraphernalia. Both the league and the Wings acted swiftly and powerfully to admonish those hate groups, and they should be commended for showing leadership when they got dragged into an awful situation.

*For something completely different: If only you could take a time machine back to this Dick Cavett mansion in the 1970’s when I’m sure it was the grooviest pad in the Hamptons.