Jacob Trouba, defenseman, Jets
When: Sunday, 1 p.m. What’s up: The Avalanche faces Central Division rival Winnipeg on the road.
Background: Trouba, a former University of Michigan Wolverine represented by Denver-based agent Kurt Overhardt, was a restricted free agent in the offseason. He requested a trade back in the spring and that became public knowledge in September, when Overhardt isssued a statement confirming it and saying Trouba wouldn’t report to training camp. Overhardt and Trouba both said the No. 9 pick in the 2012 draft needed to play the right side to realize his potential. Eventually, Trouba signed a two-year contract with a $3 million annual salary cap hit and reported, and his first game of the season was against the Avs in Denver on Nov. 11. Trouba’s hit on Avalanche center Matt Duchene, more reckless than dirty, left Duchene with the first concussion of his career, and he missed the next four games. Duchene was perturbed by the hit, calling it “pretty vicious,” while Avalanche coach Jared Bednar would only go as far as to say he wished it had drawn a penalty and said he didn’t think the NHL’s player safety department needed to take a look at possible supplemental discipline. In 18 games, Trouba has a goal and four assists for the Jets and is averaging 23:44 of ice time.
Frei’s take: It’s tempting to draw the grassy-knoll inference that the Avalanche was — and perhaps still is — among those at least inquiring about acquiring Trouba from the Jets.
Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba, a University of Michigan product, was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft. Marianne Helm, Getty Images