Blue Jackets to scratch defenceman Vladislav Gavrikov for “trade-related reasons”
Photo credit:© Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
We’re still over two weeks from the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline but things are already moving.
The New York Rangers pulled the trigger on a trade for St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko last week and the Arizona Coyotes seem to be nearing a deal involving defender Jakob Chychrun as they announced on the weekend that he’ll be made a healthy scratch due to “trade-related reasons.”
On Tuesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that defenceman Vladislav Gavrikov will be left out of the lineup for the same reason. Chris Johnston reported a few minutes later that the Blue Jackets don’t have a trade coming immediately but that they’re “protecting their asset while working through the process…”
What this ultimately means is that Gavrikov has more than likely played his last game as a member of the Blue Jackets. This is nothing out of the blue, as Columbus is one of the worst teams in the league this season and Gavrikov is an impending unrestricted free agent, but it’s interesting to see teams flat-out say that a player won’t be playing because they’re working on a trade.
There was some speculation earlier in the season that the Oilers could trade for Gavrikov, a responsible defender who has experience logging heavy minutes and playing on the penalty kill, but that’s changed in recent days as word has come out that Edmonton’s top players are seeking a puck-moving defenceman.
Erik Karlsson has become the topic de jour around here but Chychrun remains available and his teammate Shayne Gostisbehere is another option to fill the puck-mover role as well.
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