Jacob Trouba is desperately begging to get out of Winnipeg and continue his career elsewhere. He’s a stud defenseman and is too good to just be sitting around holding out. He’s reportedly been offered a contract with $5.5 million annual value. But Trouba isn’t as concerned with how much money he’d make. He just doesn’t see himself fit with the Winnipeg defense.
Oddly enough, the Penguins have a trade chip in Olli Maatta.
Maatta has struggled mightily ever since his return from various health complications and it’s becoming more and more evident that his slower skating doesn’t fit the fast paced Penguins. If he’s placed on a team that doesn’t rely on its speed to win hockey games, it’s likely Maatta could fit well there.
Trouba, on the other hand, is a great skater with blessed offensive ability. He could mesh well with Kris Letang’s playing style. Although Trouba is a right handed shot, as is Letang, the Trevor Daley and Brian Dumoulin pair from last season was able to work with both being lefty shooters.
Personally, I’d like to see Dumoulin stay paired with Letang and have Trouba paired with Daley.
Letang and Dumoulin have developed some chemistry stemming back to the Stanley Cup Finals of last season. Daley and Maatta have played together a bit but there are problems. Daley is reliable enough that he can jump into the offense on any given play. If he’s caught red handed though, that leaves teams able to expose the slow skating Maatta who will often stay back to provide defensive relief.
This would allow for the Penguins to have two crisp skating, puck moving defenseman on the second pairing and could take even more pressure off of Letang and keep him off the ice a little more than he is now. Even he’s not a superhuman. He needs a break once in a while and a guy like Trouba being paired with Daley could form a more reliable tandem.
If we want to talk pedigree for a second, Olli Maatta was a first round draft pick and quite honestly could be a great defenseman. It’s just becoming harder and harder to believe that it’ll be with Pittsburgh. He doesn’t fit the style.
Trouba not only would bring a legitimate even strength threat, but he could also help quarterback a second powerplay that’s already got some firepower.
Just remember that, in the NHL, anything is possible. Jim Rutherford is a wizard at making trades and he’s proved that as the head of this team. Jacob Trouba could be a Pittsburgh Penguin. I’m doubting that it happens. But if the stars align, the Pens could be making a significant play on him very soon.