Vladislav Gavrkiov has been pulled from the lineup for the Columbus Blue Jackets for trade-related reasons. The defenseman has been the topic of multiple trade rumors for the past few weeks and with the NHL Trade Deadline looming, the Blue Jackets aren’t taking any chances of an injury and holding him out until a deal can be finalized. This does not mean, however, that a trade is imminent.
In fact, reports suggest the Blue Jackets do not have a trade in their back pocket and this is simply a precautionary measure to ensure the blueliner can be moved if and when a deal comes about. Kevin Weekes is reporting, “I’ve been told “nothing is imminent” re @BlueJacketsNHL D Gavrikov, though clearly CBJ are hard at work for a potential suitor for a trade, and are holding him out of the lineup for asset protection.” The longer this takes, the more the price could drop as pulling him suggests the Blue Jackets are eager to make a deal.
Gavrikov was asked about a potential trade and he noted, “It’s hard waking up and (trying to) figure this out. I try not to think about it.” He added that he tries to stay busy and his mind on other things but he knows literally nothing about what’s going on with the trade and where he might be headed. He said he hopes his teammates can get two points, even though he’ll be watching from the press box.
Pierre LeBrun noted that “No trade in the works at the very moment for Gavrikov, just the Blue Jackets protecting the asset while further exploring the market.” David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reported that a trade is not close yet. Teams have been given permission to speak with the player about a potential extension, which makes Gavrikov’s ignorance about what’s going on interesting. If no teams have asked him about an extension, it means no team has gotten that far in trade discussions with the Blue Jackets.
Chris Johnston on Insider Trading says there is some sticker shock on the price for Gavrikov and the Blue Jackets are not budging on the ask. It is being reported they’d like three draft picks: 1st, 3rd, and a 4th. He’s a pending UFA and doesn’t seem interested in talking extension. It’s hard to imagine any team giving up those assets for a rental like him, even though he is one of the better defensive-blueliners available at this season’s deadline.
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