According to multiple sources, the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets might be close to completing a deal for defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov. A defenseman that has been on the radar of a few teams heading into the NHL Trade Deadline, the pending UFA had been pulled from the Blue Jackets lineup for trade-related reasons but has not yet been dealt. Perhaps the wait is coming to an end.
NBC Sports Boston is reporting, “The belief is that the Bruins have to make a trade before they can finalize this deal to bring in Vladislav Gavrikov.”
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period and NHL Network reports:
“Vladislav Gavrikov Watch 2023 may be nearing the finish line. Per source, #CBJ & #NHLBruins have the framework of a trade in place (talk of a 1st/3rd in package), but Boston has to clear cap space. One player I’m told they’re shopping is F Craig Smith. However #CBJ won’t wait forever. It’s understood that if another team swoops in with a competitive/better offer, they could go that route. Ball (or puck) is in Boston’s court as they try to make the $ work. Adding Gavrikov could surely eliminate Boston from the Chychrun talk.”
The Bruins have just $33k in deadline cap space and a hair over $1 million in LTIR relief to make this deal work. With only 21 players on the roster, they can’t really demote anyone to the AHL to make room, thus a cap-clearing trade would likely have to be made to fit Gavrikov in at all. This is, of course, assuming there isn’t a ton of salary retention going on and a third-party broker doesn’t get involved here.
If the price for Gavrikov is a first and third, it’s no surprise it has taken some time to get this deal done. That’s a solid return for the Blue Jackets. Some may argue that giving up that much when a player like Jakob Chychrun could have been had for a bit more and has two additional seasons on his contract might have been the better asset management play.
Next: St. Louis Blues Enter Trade Deadline Sweepstakes For Timo Meier
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