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Larry Brooks on Jacob Trouba and Mats Zuccarello

April 23, 2019, 12:03 AM ET [737 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Larry Brooks' column Monday covered two players who will garner interest in Rangers' land for different reasons. Jacob Trouba was a potential target for New York a few years ago. Now an RFA again, he is expected to be a player of interest. Mats Zuccarello, a fan favorite and someone who many of us want back, has settled in nicely in Dallas and could re-sign with the Stars.

So we can start the watch on the Rangers’ interest in Winnipeg’s pending free-agent right defenseman Jacob Trouba manifesting itself in trade talks, the Jets having been KO’d in six by the Blues.

Winnipeg, the organization that built almost exclusively through the draft, is about to get hammered. Trouba, who had an extremely contentious second-contract negotiation that bled into the start of 2016-17, is a Group II with salary-arbitration rights; wingers Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor are Group II’s without arbitration rights who will nevertheless command massive increases coming off entry-level contracts; and defenseman Tyler Myers is a pending UFA.

Trouba, who turned 25 in late February, is likely to command $7 million a year. The Rangers will be among those wanting to give it to him.

This, I believe, would suit the Blueshirts just fine on their 2019-20 right side: 1. Trouba; 2. Adam Fox; 3A. Tony DeAngelo; 3B. Neal Pionk.

A few points:
1) Trouba, as seen from the comment below, won't give Winnipeg any hometown discount. After seeing the negotiations a few years ago, this comes as little surprise. Are you willing to give him $7 mil per season for six years? If so, are you concerned at all with the nightmarish history of big-money contracts the Rangers have handed out to free agent defensemen?

2) To acquire Trouba, Winnipeg will require substantive assets. Dave Shapiro proposed the below. Many believe that the Jets wouldn't accept this type of deal. But to get Trouba, what are you willing to surrender? Are you willing to take on all or part of a bad contract like Perrault? Part with the first rounder obtained for Kevin Hayes? Give up Jimmy Vesey and also Tampa's second round pick? In a deal like this, you know the asset which you are acquiring, as opposed to the draft which is a crapshoot at best. What if you were able to also find a way to get Adam Fox, like has been rumored. Would obtaining both Fox and Trouba change your mind as to what you would deal to get Trouba?

Of course the contract must be negotiated, but Mats Zuccarello remaining in Dallas seems like a pretty reasonable proposition as long as the Stars are willing to cede their 2020 first-rounder to the Rangers as compensation.

Zuccarello, immediately both productive and popular, would presumably demand a no-move clause to protect him against exposure to the 2021 Seattle expansion draft but that should not be an issue, the Stars appearing not to have protection problems.

A look at how well Zuccarello has fit in for the Stars:

Conditions associated with the Zucc trade:

Dallas just won their first round match up with the Predators. One more series win and New York gets a first rounder this year. If that occurs, d you think the Stars are more or less likely to part with a second first rounder to re-sign Zucc? Should New York try and negotiate with Dallas, removing the second condition to facilitate receiving another piece? Is that dependent on the Stars advancing past the Blues?

Would love to hear your views on both Trouba and Zuccarello.

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