Sending out an offer sheet for Jacob Trouba has been one of the more polarizing concepts heading into the 2016 edition of NHL Free Agency, due to the steep price as well as possible blowback for exercising a rarely utilized right of NHL execs. Because the Bruins used second and third round picks on Lee Stempniak and JM Liles, the B’s would have to offer Trouba $9.3 million per, and surrender their next four first round picks to Winnipeg, should the Jets fail to match. It’s a steep price to pay, for sure, and the B’s risk ruffling a few feathers in the process. They could very well find themselves in Winnipeg's position next season with their own young talent in David Pastrnak. They should do it anyway; here’s why:rnrnThere most likely is not a franchise defenseman within the organization. Perhaps Charlie McAvoy, or Brandon Carlo, Jeremy Lauzon or Jakub Zboril turn into that guy…crazier things have happened (both Duncan Keith and PK Subban were second round picks). However, that is an INSANE amount of pressure to be putting on a teenager. The ideal scenario is where your talented prospects are allowed to slowly blossom into that kind of role; it’s not bestowed upon them as non-lottery teenage draft picks; much like Trouba has been allowed to behind Dustin Byfuglien.rnrnTrouba is currently not a franchise defenseman, but he looks to be well on his way as a 22 year old who already has three full seasons of NHL experience; he's still in the early stages of the learning curve that all young defensemen must adjust to at the NHL level (think of what the New York Islanders perceived Zendo Chara's ceiling to be at the same age before dealing him to Ottawa). He boasts fantastic shut down ability, a great point shot, fluid skating, and the kind of tenacity and physicality that can't be coached. Furthermore, in a league (let alone free agent pool) where top pairing, right handed defensemen are essentially unicorns, Trouba represents the ideal fit for a Bruins team that traded their own (Dougie Hamilton) last season, and are currently looking at a right side of Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, and Colin Miller. Not. Good. Enough.rnrnrn The Bruins organization’s recent failures drafting in the first round are well documented at this point. And, according to many, continued on Day 1 of this year’s draft, as the Bruins certainly reached with their 29th overall selection of Trent Frederic. This in and of itself isn’t necessarily enough reason to rid the organization of four consecutive first round picks. However, answer this question: What do Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Torey Krug, and Milan Lucic have in common? rnrnThe answer is that none of them were taken in the first round of their respective drafts.rnrnWhile holding high picks gives a team the best chance of selecting great players, the fact of the matter is that in most drafts every spot beyond the top 3 is a bit of a crapshoot. And having selected in the first round 5 times in the past two years, and 4 times in the second round, the cupboard has been well restocked with young talent….now it’s time to get NHL talent. Trouba is the real deal.rnrnWinnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has stated that he would match any offer sheet sent to Trouba, and maybe he will. But considering the fact that Winnipeg is a budget team with roughly $19 million already tied up in Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers and Tobias Enstrom it could be difficult for Chevy to justify signing Trouba at a $9.3 million AAV (especially with Byfuglien and Myers being righties, like Trouba). Couple this with the in-season report this past year that Trouba and his camp wanted to skip the bridge-deal route altogether, and were reportedly asking for upwards of $7 mil per, and you'd think Cheveldayoff would have to give pause before automatically matching an offer sheet. For a budget bubble team such as Winnipeg, 4 first round picks and the removal of a contract impasse could be their preferred route.rnrnThis move might ruffle some feathers. It could come back to bite them next season when David Pastrnak's ELC expires. It might prevent the Bruins from dealing with Winnipeg or several other organizations for several years. But this is still hockey, right? Players ruffle feathers. Coaches ruffle feathers. If there’s no love lost on the ice and between the benches then why should GM’s play by “Queen’s Rules?” Don’s job is to win the Stanley Cup, not to be the most popular kid in school. If Winnipeg or another franchise wants to get back at the B's when the tables turn then so be it, because as it stands this Bruins blue line has proven two years in a row it's not quite ready for primetime...and Jacob Trouba immediately changes that, for the here and now as well as years down the road.
Pull the trigger, Donny. Deperate times call for desperate measures.