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Stuart "holding out hope" that Trouba signs with Jets

Defenceman, agent released a statement late Saturday night

by Mitchell Clinton @MClinton007 /

WINNIPEG - The optimism hasn't left Mark Stuart, or any member of the Winnipeg Jets just yet.

It could have late last night, when restricted free agent Jacob Trouba's agent released a statement requesting a trade.

But Stuart is still "holding out hope" that a deal can be reached.

That's also the goal for general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff.

"Over the last three seasons, Trouba has played a key role for the Winnipeg Jets and in our view still represents an important part of the long-term future of our club," Cheveldayoff said in a statement Saturday night. "As such, any decisions made regarding Trouba will be made in the best interest of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club."

Forward Andrew Copp's friendship with Trouba goes back to when the two were kids. They played at the University of Michigan together and were roommates last season.

He was out for dinner with a few teammates last night when he heard the news.

"It's just something that I've just had to accept. I can't change whatever is going to happen," said Copp following Sunday's training camp skate.

"What I've learned in the past is that's the business side of the game," said the veteran defenceman, who was often paired with Trouba on the blue line.

"All I can say is he's a good teammate and a good friend, and I really hope to be on the same team as him this year."

Video: CAMP | Mark Stuart  

Copp added that the two chatted on the phone last night, but it was more about the World Cup of Hockey than anything contract related.
"It was just two buddies catching up," Copp said. "How was the World Cup? Did you enjoy yourself? How was Toronto? How's the family? Just stuff you talk about as friends."

Video: CAMP | Andrew Copp
Trouba will not attend training camp until the situation is resolved. But the players inside the dressing room, including Stuart, hope that comes sooner than later.
"I hope it works out here big time. He's a huge part of our team and a really good friend," said Stuart. "You just hope both sides can come to an agreement."
Cheveldayoff agrees, and is committed to resolving the situation as quickly as he can.
""As an unsigned player, we cannot compel Jacob to report to training camp at this time," said Cheveldayoff. "However, we will continue to work diligently to resolve this matter."

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