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No Trouba for you...Buffalo

June 17, 2019, 10:14 PM ET [142 Comments]
Michael Pachla
Buffalo Sabres Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT

Talk in Sabreland this off season had revolved around adding top-six talent up front and strengthening the blueline and one of the names thrown around as being a possible target for Buffalo was Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba. With the Jets in trouble cap-wise and their relationship with the 25 yr. old Trouba strained, rumors concerning his movement have been in the air dating back to last summer.

Some Sabres fans salivated at the prospect of landing the right-hander in a trade to help solidify the top-four and maybe more importantly, especially for advanced stats fans, giving the club an upgrade over defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, who they can't see leave fast enough.

Whelp, that thought's out the window as it was announced tonight that the NY Rangers have acquired Trouba for a 2019 first round pick (20th-overall) and defenseman Neil Pionk whom the Rangers signed out of Minnestota-Duluth back in 2017. The pick New York sent to Winnipeg was actually the Jets pick to begin with. On February 25 the Rangers sent center Kevin Hayes to Winnipeg for that pick, prospect Brendan Lemieux (who was drafted by Buffalo in 2016) and a conditional 2022 fourth round pick.

As the NY Post pointed out, the circular deal was, "in essence, Lemieux and Trouba for Pionk and six weeks of Hayes."

Where do I sign up for that?

The catch, however, is that the Jets did not allow any team to talk to Trouba and his agent about a possible contract extension beyond 2019-20 when he will become an unrestricted free agent. For the Rangers it was a gamble worth taking as even if they loose him, they'll still get a season out of him or if it's clear he won't re-sign in the Big Apple they can move him at the deadline if they're out of playoff contention in a very tough Eastern Conference.

As for the Sabres, they're preparing for the draft and word has it that Botterill has been working the phones. Buffalo owns two first round picks (Nos. 7 & 31) and are said to be looking to change their roster either with a top-six center or winger or a top-four defenseman. Or both.

What Botterill's working on remains to be seen but we can now take Trouba off the list of possibilities.
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