While many interesting things were said when the Winnipeg Jets officially put a bow on the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, all the attention was on defenseman Tobias Enstrom, who wasn't here there in the first place!
Jets veteran defenseman Toby Enstrom was scratched from the lineup for Sunday's must-win Game 5 and the 33-year-old blue liner was not happy with the decision, according to Jeff Hamilton and Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press. He was reportedly so upset with the club's decision, that he made one big move to express his anger. Following the elimination loss, Enstrom was nowhere to be found during Tuesday's cleanout, when the rest of his teammates were cleaning out their dressing room. Reporters were even told he was "long gone", according to TSN.
Enstrom was not the only player scratched from Game 5 of the Western Conference final on Sunday. Coach Paul Maurice also scratched defenseman Ben Chiarot and forward Andrew Copp while replacing them with Dmitry Kulikov, Joe Morrow and Joel Armia. However, no one other than Enstrom refused to show up at the cleaning out session with the rest of the team...
As many insiders and reporters ran with that story, another one took place as another defender took the opportunity to reveal some information about his future. While his comments might have been seen quite negatively back in November, now, the dressing room outburst has given him perfect timing to make these statements.
According to the Winnipeg Sun, "Jacob Trouba didn’t sound like a guy who was going to ask for a trade or is planning to skip training camp in the fall because of another contract stalemate."
Back in 2016, Trouba ended up signing a two-year, $6 million bridge deal. Had Trouba not signed with an NHL team before Dec. 1, he would’ve become ineligible to play the rest of the 2016-17 season.
“Been down that road once. Quicker the better,” Trouba said of a new contract. “I haven’t put a whole ton of thought into it, yet. I’m sure in the next week or two or couple of days, I’ll meet with my agent (Kurt Overhardt) and we’ll go over stuff. We’ll see where it goes from there. Talk to (Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff), and I’m sure something will be worked out.
“You get the sense there’s a little unfinished business, I guess, here with this team. We all have such good relationships on this team, it’s fun to be part of. It’s a special team. You want to play for a contender, and that’s what we have here.”
It seems pretty clear Trouba won't be asking for a trade this time around.
His defense partner Josh Morrissey is also set to get a contract extension. He is eligible for restricted free agency on July 1st, but the Jets seem to make signing the pair a top priority this summer.