September 24, 2020

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Lots of time for deal before Trouba loses season, agent says

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/10/2016 (1436 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Jacob Trouba's agent isn't saying much about his client's looming sign-or-sit deadline.

The Winnipeg Jets' restricted free agent defenceman, who sat out training camp and the club's first three games after demanding a trade in the off-season, isn't thinking about missing an entire NHL season. Kurt Overhardt said Monday night.

TREVOR HAGAN / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES</p><p>A fan wears a crossed out Winnipeg Jets' Jacob Trouba (8) jersey at the game versus the Edmonton Oilers during a pre-season NHL hockey game in Winnipeg.</p>

TREVOR HAGAN / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES

A fan wears a crossed out Winnipeg Jets' Jacob Trouba (8) jersey at the game versus the Edmonton Oilers during a pre-season NHL hockey game in Winnipeg.

As an RFA, Trouba must be signed by an NHL team by Dec. 1. After that, he's ineligible to play for the rest of the 2016-17 season.

"It’s only Oct. 17... it's not something on our minds," Overhardt said Monday. "There’s obviously a lot of time between now and then. We’re going to continue to keep working in good faith and try helping to facilitate a positive transaction so everyone can benefit.

"It’s not really an issue at this point."

Trouba shocked Jets fans and others around the league on Sept. 24 when he and his agent released a statement indicating the 22-year-old no longer wants to play for the team that drafted him ninth overall in 2012. The release stated that Trouba had been asking for a trade since May.

Trouba finished last season playing top minutes on the left side. The former Michigan Wolverines standout cited that as the reason he wants out of Winnipeg.

"It’s all about me getting an opportunity to realize my potential as a right-handed defenceman, that’s really what it comes down to," Trouba told the Free Press at the time. "With conversations I’ve had with people in the organization, I don’t feel like that is going to happen. There are two really good right-handed defenceman in line in front of me (Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers).

"What it comes down to is, am I going to look back at my career in 20 years and regret just being OK on the third pairing and going along with my career? I mean, I’ve worked pretty hard at this game for 18 years and I want to realize what kind of player I can be. If that’s not in Winnipeg, that’s how it is."

Overhardt said Monday that if nothing happens before Dec. 1, there’s "obviously a plan in place."

"We have to contemplate everything, but it’s not something we are going to discuss as it involves our client and it’s a private matter," he said, adding he'd spoken with Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff earlier in the day. "Any of the conversations we have with (the Jets) are very amicable and those are private, too."

Overhardt said Trouba, who is training privately at home in Michigan, won't be saying anything publicly until after the situation is resolved.

"He’s just trying to be a pro and he wants to stay out of the media," Overhardt said.

Cheveldayoff and the Jets have also kept their lips sealed. A statement released in response to Trouba's release in September said the Jets would be silent on the matter until it is resolved.

Trouba’s entry-level contract with the Jets expired on July 1. He scored six times and added 15 assists in 81 games last season with the Jets. In 211 career NHL games, the Rochester, Mich., native has 23 goals and 89 assists.

scott.billeck@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @scottbilleck

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