Jacob Trouba of the Rangers could face an evil homecoming


There was a dead end between 2016 and 17 that lasted into November, the clear desire not to stay in Winnipeg after he had unrestricted free action, and the feeling of always having to travel to New York.

And when Jacob says publicly to Trouba on Monday, he doesn't know what kind of reception to expect on Tuesday when he returns to Manitoba with the Rangers.

Jaromir Jagr is relentlessly booed in Washington every time he touches the puck as a ranger.

"I'm sure it won't be the warmest homecoming for him," said David Quinn, who met with the defender before training on Monday. "It has come. I think he will accept it. "

Trouba played the first six seasons and 408 games of his NHL career with the jets after having completed the ninth overall selection in the entry-level design in 2012, before moving to the Rangers in June, a year before the unrestricted free trade with Neal Pionk and the 20th election in the draft that had previously been traded in Kevin Hayes' deadline deal

"I haven't really thought much about it," said the defender, who turns 26 on February 26, about his return. "What ever [the reception] is I'm going to join in and have fun with it. I honestly didn't put it too much on my own mind. "

Jacob Trouba
Jacob TroubaGetty Images

It was predictably a year of adjustment on and off the ice for the defender, who is in the first season of a seven-year deal worth $ 8 million per game. He doesn't live on the prairie now.

Trouba actually mentioned "the tall buildings" when asked about life in New York after years in a much smaller locale. Seriously. But he emphasized that he had never lived in a big city.

"It's not just a Winnipeg thing, it's a new thing for me in general life," said Trouba. "I've never lived in a small apartment and I've walked everywhere, so many people – all of these things are new."

The adjustments have shown up in the first 54 games on the ice, in which the right-back of the first pair was unpredictable. He plays with intensity and physical superiority while devouring the main minutes against the opposing top units, but Trouba was also prone to errors when adapting from one system to another and a group of team members to another.

"I tried to find my way around a little," said Trouba. "Knowing your teammates' tendencies is such an important part of the game, and now I'm trying to learn 20 at a time. It was a challenge sometimes, that's for sure."

The blues shirts will be at least nine points ahead of the Islanders-Caps and Flyers-Panthers playoff games on Monday. With five of the next six and eight of the next ten on the road, the Rangers need Trouba (and partner Brady Skjei) to level up.

"We had a long conversation this morning and he's a bit frustrated with himself," said Quinn. "The thing I like about him, he's really honest with his [self] Evaluation. I think sometimes we lose sight of the pressure that players may put on themselves. I thought he had a really good track and how it can happen in a season with 82 games, you have peaks and valleys.

"I thought we had a really good conversation. He has talked a lot about how he feels and what he needs to get better. Too often a player of his size tries to do too much. One of the things that can happen is that he can rethink things. Errors will happen, but I think he takes the mistakes to heart and then tries to do a little more to compensate for the mistakes made, and as we all know, no one has ever played flawless ice hockey game.

"So I think he's adopting this attitude and I'm looking forward to watching him [in Winnipeg], "

Brendan Lemieux is also returning to Winnipeg, which was set in last year's Hayes deal.

"I owe a lot to this organization, from the owner," said Lemieux. "I love being in New York and being a ranger, but I'm very grateful to the Jets for all the things they did to help me.

"It's going to be fun. I have a lot of friends there. I'm excited."