Ever since Jacob Trouba’s agent released to the media recently that the still-unsigned 22-year old restricted free agent defensemen asked for a trade back in May (either to leverage getting that trade moving or to leverage the Jets into signing him), we’ve been all over the “Make it happen, even though it probably won’t” camp. Today, we got at least a little more information as to why it won’t thanks to Chris Nichols at Today’s Slapshot, transcribing an interview Darren Dreger did on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 today:
I know that Cheveldayoff received several offers during the summer. I know that one came from Detroit. I’m told that it involved two of their higher-level forwards, and Holland wasn’t willing or able to stomach that. As much as the Detroit Red Wings need defense, they can’t move out multiple pieces of scoring, otherwise they fill one hole and dig another.
So we know that Holland did ask about Trouba and we know that when it came to making the deal, the forwards that Winnipeg wanted back qualify as “higher-level” to the point where it made Ken Holland balk.
It’s hard not to mentally move immediately to Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist, considering both have been considered the kind of trade piece the Red Wings would have to part with in order to make a trade like this work, especially for salary cap reasons. Would Holland have said no to moving both of them to get Trouba? I’m not entirely certain that he would have, but I know my own personal opinion on such a trade is that Trouba’s value isn’t high enough to warrant both of those players on his own.
Unfortunately, that’s all still just assumption because two higher-level forwards to Dreger and to Cheveldayoff and to Holland and to me can mean a lot of different things. Instead of both Tatar and Nyquist, I’d be more likely to wager money that the ask was for one of them and also Dylan Larkin. This is mostly because Larkin and just about anybody fits the qualification of “fill one hole and dig another” as well as it possibly can.
Unless somebody spills the beans on specifics, we’re forced to do a lot of guessing to know whether we should be upset with our team’s GM for not making this deal happen, but based solely on speculation, I’m not expecting I’d be unhappy with Holland having said no to a price tag involving Dylan Larkin and another high-level forward.