A National Hockey League player who did an excellent job of turning his team's fan base against him as seemingly had a drastic change of heart, and unsurprisingly it has come on the heels of an impressive amount of winning from his team.
Back during the National Hockey League's offseason in the summer of 2016 Winnipeg Jets defenseman and his agent, Kurt Overhardt, tried to orchestrate a power play that would see the talented young defenseman moved out of Winnipeg and to a new NHL franchise. Trouba at the time was a restricted free agent and was steadfastly refusing to sign a new contract despite the fact that the Winnipeg Jets made him offers in both the short and the long term. It was quite clear that the motivation from Trouba and Overhardt was to get him out of Winnipeg as quickly as possible by forcing the hand of general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and by extension the Jets organization.
Even well after the start of the 2016-2017 NHL regular season Trouba continued to sit out while refusing to sign, and it wasn't until it became evident that the Jets were willing to let him miss the entire season and had no intention of meeting his demands that Trouba finally caved in. To his credit, despite the very ugly public relations battle that took place during the contract dispute between the two sides Trouba made some excellent comments after caving in and signing a two year contract with the Jets.
"I've committed to signing here for two years," Trouba said at the time. "When I signed that piece of paper, everything changes in my mind. I'm now part of this team and whatever I'm asked to do for these next two years while I'm under contract is what I'm going to do.
"I want to play hockey. I'm a hockey player and I'm extremely happy to be back in the locker room and playing hockey. That's what I love to do. I think that's what every hockey player dreams of, is playing in the NHL, and I have the opportunity to do that."
One thing that helped Trouba in this dispute, in terms of support from the Jets fan base, was that his dispute with the team was never about money but rather about the way he was being used by the organization. Trouba felt the team was ignoring his strengths on the ice and wanted some assurances that things would change, although it's unclear if those assurances were made before he signed the deal.
There is a very famous saying in sports though, "winning can solve any problems," and it seems that once again that saying rings true in this case. TSN's Jim Toth is now reporting that sources have informed him that Trouba has complete changed his tune and now sees himself signing with the Jets for the long term. It appears that Toth attempted to reach out to Trouba's agent for comment but Kurt Overhardt elected not to offer any comment.
The question now is, considering the shaky past they have with the player, whether or not the Jets will be willing to commit to him long term. Of course all is well now as the Jets find themselves among the final 4 teams in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but how will Trouba react if the team goes into another slump during the time frame of a potential long term contract.
Photo Credit: Marius Becker-DPA-Zuma