Offer Sheet v. Trade: How do the Flyers acquire Jacob Trouba

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Los Angeles Kings
Mar 18, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) reacts against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period at Staples Center. The Jets defeated the Kings 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

‘Tis the offseason, folks. Welcome to the land of rumors, speculation, and a whole lot of “what ifs.” Logic doesn’t always rule at this time of year, but we can dream, can’t we?

In the spirit of dreaming, let’s talk about a player on the radar of the Philadelphia Flyers and their General Manager, Chuck Fletcher. That player is right-handed defenseman Jacob Trouba. Trouba has somewhat fallen out of favor in Winnipeg, and just in time for his contract to expire. Trouba is a restricted free agent but is attracting a lot of suitors, considering Winnipeg may have to pony up a pretty penny to keep fellow RFA Patrick Laine in a Jets sweater.

So, the question on every fan’s mind: What’s it gonna take to get Trouba in orange and black? On the surface, it’s simple. Either Fletcher can extend an offer sheet, or reach out to Winnipeg’s General Manager, Kevin Cheveldayoff, and work out a deal for his negotiating rights, somewhat similar to what Fletcher did with Kevin Hayes. Digging a bit deeper, it gets more and more complicated.

With an offer sheet, the Flyers wouldn’t have to give up any roster players, which is good considering the mindset of Paul Holmgren and Chuck Fletcher, wanting to win now. On the other hand, the Flyers could be risking depleting their draft picks.

The way the RFA compensation breaks down is as follows:

Lower than $1,395,053: None
Over $1,395,053 – $2,113,716: 3rd round pick
Over $2,113,716 – $4,227,437: 2nd round pick
Over $4,227,437 – $6,341,152: 1st, 3rd round picks
Over $6,341,152 – $8,454,871: 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks
Over $8,454,871 – $10,568,589: (2) 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks
$10,568,589 and up: (4) 1st round picks

If we’re being realistic here, Trouba will likely garner a salary somewhere in the range of $7-8 million per year. If Philadelphia offered him that type of deal, they would then be on the hook for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick. Not a terrible price to give up for a younger blueliner who can soak up around 23 minutes per game.

If the Flyers decide they want his rights instead, Fletcher could call up Cheveldayoff and offer up players and or picks. This way may be the best way to acquire Trouba, considering the assets the Flyers have to acquire him. The offer could start somewhere in the realm of the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft, and somewhat disgruntled blue liner Shayne Gostisbehere.

Trouba would essentially be replacing Ghost on defense anyway, so switching the two makes sense. Winnipeg would be getting a great offensive weapon for their blueline, who is locked into a deal that would keep him at $4.5 million for the next four years, and Philly would be able to set the deal to their liking, and Trouba’s, and get a solid option to pair with Provorov, or the top four at the very least.

It all comes down to whether Chuck Fletcher values picks over players in his own system. If he values the players in the system, he will likely go the route of an offer sheet. If it’s too difficult to part with three, up to four draft picks, then he may look to acquire the negotiating rights to Trouba and make something happen via that route.

Regardless, this is something to keep an eye on if you’re a follower of the orange and black. The Flyers are looking to be contenders right away, and landing a guy like Trouba puts them in the realm of being a contender almost right off the bat.

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports