WINNIPEG – Jacob Trouba is officially back in Winnipeg and he says he’s here to stay.
The young defenceman skated with his teammates today for the first time since signing his new two year contract and ending his holdout yesterday.
Trouba told reporters afterwards that he no longer wanted to be traded.
“I’ve committed to signing here for two years,” he said. “When I signed that piece of paper, everything changed in my mind. I’m now part of this team. Whatever I’m asked to do for these next two years when I’m under contract is what I’m going to do.”
Trouba said he “didn’t regret” his decision to sit out for the start of the season, saying he felt it was the right thing for him at the time.
He did go on to say his trade request never had anything to do with wanting out of Winnipeg as a city.
“Absolutely, it was never about Winnipeg. I tried making that very clear,” said Trouba. “I kind of knew people were going to make their own opinions…it never had anything to do with Winnipeg or Canada or anything like that.”
Trouba has always maintained his decision was based on “usage”. He wanted to play more minutes and play on his preferred right hand side.
That seems to have softened as well. Trouba says he’ll play wherever coach Paul Maurice wants him.
“That all goes out the window,” he said. “It’s about this team now. Wherever I can help this team that’s what I’m willing to do.”
Trouba will not play Tuesday when the Jets host Dallas but he could be back in the lineup on Thursday in Arizona, depending on how he does in some off ice fitness testing.
Teammates, Maurice Welcome Him Back
Blake Wheeler said there were “no hard feelings” as Trouba returns. In fact, he says the team welcomed him back with a hug.
“Gave him a big hug and said welcome back,” said the captain. “He’s a big part of what we’ve done in the past and where we’re going in the future.”
Wheeler said most of the Jets had been staying in touch with Trouba over text messages.
“When you get a member of your family back, it doesn’t even feel like he was gone.”
Mark Scheifele said he called Trouba as soon as he heard the news.
“I’m obviously pretty pumped to have him,” he said. “Jacob’s a big part of this team.”
Coach Paul Maurice says he’ll consider playing Trouba on the right and left side.
If Trouba was to play on his preferred right hand side, he’d have to be on the third pairing because the Jets have Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien ahead of him on that side. The team had wanted him to play the left side on the top pairing with Dustin Byfuglien.
“He’s going to play defence for the Winnipeg Jets. Same place that he finished off,” said the coach. “If he plays really well he’ll play more.”