Rangers reportedly dealing with ‘messy’ team dynamic amidst Jacob Trouba drama

Feb 23, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) shoots the puck during the first period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have had a quiet offseason so far, largely due in part to the team’s inability to offload team captain defenseman Jacob Trouba’s contract. The Rangers were reportedly deep in discussions with the Red Wings to trade Trouba to Detroit, but the deal seemingly fell through following Trouba’s refusals to relocate.

Attempting to trade away a team captain is always a challenging task due to the risks it poses to the locker room. According to one NHL insider, the Rangers’ locker room seems to be in a bit of dismay as a result of their offseason drama with Captain Trouba.

The Rangers are reportedly dealing with a messy team dynamic due to the Jacob Trouba drama

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) warms up before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

According to Vince Mercogliano of Lohud, the Blueshirts are dealing with a “messy” team dynamic right now as a result of the Trouba drama:

“The team dynamic is ‘messy right now,’ according to one league source, given the Trouba drama and the devious manner in which Goodrow was waived to work around San Jose being on his 15-team no-trade list,” Mercogliano reported.

Drury’s cutthroat move to waive veteran forward Barclay Goodrow earlier this offseason also seems to have rubbed some members of the locker room the wrong way, according to Mercogliano’s report. Goodrow blocked a trade to San Jose but still wound up being acquired by the Sharks after the Rangers waived him, knowing San Jose would put in a claim.

Could Trouba still be on his way out of New York?

New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) and Calgary Flames defenseman Chris Tanev (8) fight during the first period at Madison Square Garden
Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Trouba, on the other hand, had his drama with the team play out publicly after it was reported that his wife’s hospital residency was among the factors keeping him in New York:

“…several teams that otherwise would have been in big-time on Trouba now likely to wait until next year when Dr. Tyson-Trouba’s residency ends with the defenseman having one final season on his contract,” Larry Brooks of The New York Post reported.

As a result of Kelly Tyson-Trouba’s hospital residency, the team captain is unlikely to move teams this offseason. Although, there should still be a market for his services next offseason.

Trouba wrapped up a disappointing campaign in 2023-24 in which he totaled just 22 points (three goals and 19 assists) in 69 games played with a -4 rating. He was on the ice for 47% of the Rangers’ conceded goals in the final two rounds of the postseason before their untimely elimination.

The Rangers’ defensive corps is still lacking the high quality that it needs to take down the champion Flordia Panthers, among other physical and talented lineups in the Eastern Conference. Moving on from Trouba would have allowed the team to free up salary cap space and make more roster upgrades in preparation for the upcoming 2024 season. Instead, they will likely have to deal with an unhappy Trouba leading their defense and locker room for another season.

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