Elliotte Friedman noted that the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are two teams that have kicked tires on Vladislav Gavrikov of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The pending UFA has been in trade rumors for a few weeks now and despite the fact the Blue Jackets would have liked to re-sign the blueliner, it appears a trade is the most likely scenario before March 3rd.
Friedman noted during the 32 Thoughts segment of Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast that the Blue Jackets have allowed teams to talk to Gavrikov about a possible extension. That will be important based on the asking price for the player — which Marek notes is as much or more than the Blue Jackets got when they traded David Savard. That return was a first and a third-round pick or a first-rounder plus.
The Oilers are said to be interested in Gavrikov over most other options, especially if they decided not to move Philip Broberg in any trade deadline deal. They like the way Broberg has played and don’t want to push him down the lineup or stunt his development by replacing him with a player that has term remaining. At the same time, if the Oilers move Broberg in any deal, they’ll want to be sure that Gavrikov is open to an extension. Gavrikov is a well-rounded player that the Oilers believe can potentially help shore up any defensive issues for a long playoff run. Edmonton is also said to be interested in a center.
Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs need cost certainty in any deal before giving up major assets to acquire a player. They are waiting on word of Jake Muzzin’s status but if Muzzin can’t or won’t return before the postseason, GM Kyle Dubas has cap space in which to go out and make another deal. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports that the Maple Leafs are also interested in Blackhawks’ defenseman Jake McCabe, who carries a seven-team no-trade list.
Gavrikov is an affordable player at $2.8 million for the remainder of this season. He’s among the most affordable contracts out there for defensemen available ahead of this year’s trade deadline.
Next: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 3-2 OT Loss to Canadiens
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