Hartnett: Rangers, Trouba Will Agree To Deal Before Arbitration Deadline

Sean Hartnett
July 17, 2019 - 1:27 pm

Jacob Trouba will become one of the NHL’s highest-paid defensemen in the coming days. The Rangers and the 25-year-old’s representatives have continued to hammer out the details on a seven-year contract that would fall just below $8 million per season.

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With a July 25 arbitration date looming, there’s an incentive for both sides to avoid a painful process that no one wants. It would be a total shocker if the Rangers and Trouba reach an eleventh-hour deal. There’s still plenty of time for an agreement to be struck without much of a sweat.

Arbitration hearings can be ugly, awkward and personal. For the Rangers, it’s in their best interest to get a deal done quickly and move on to the next set of offseason objectives. As for Trouba, I don’t think a below-market, one-year award is in his best interest either after turning in a career-best 50-point final season in Winnipeg. He wants to be paid like a top defenseman now.

For obvious reasons, the Rangers don’t want Trouba playing next season on a one-year deal. That’s the number one reason why no. 8 will be signed days before July 25.

Jacob Trouba

Maybe the settled annual average value on a seven-year pact falls somewhere around $7.6 million to $7.8 million. Once Trouba puts pen to paper, the Rangers will officially have one of the league’s most complete, primed-aged defensemen locked down for his most productive years.

The right-handed blue liner’s offensive development and shutdown attributes are trending toward the elite bracket. All signs point to the 6-foot-3 defenseman continuing to improve and demonstrating why he’s a franchise player.

If Trouba were to play on a one-year deal, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that his potential cap number would rise significantly. The Rangers don’t want to subject themselves to any of the risks that could be brought on by a one-year arbitration award.

Again, don’t expect this to be a tense, final hour or so showdown. I think Rangers fans can relax with the expectation that a Trouba deal isn’t far away.

Follow Sean on Twitter -- @HartnettHockey