Blue Jackets reportedly have a Vladislav Gavrikov trade ready but require “another transaction to take place first”
Photo credit:© Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
It appears that a Vladislav Gavrikov trade is right around the corner.
Trade season has started well before the deadline this year as the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Ryan O’Reilly on Friday and the New York Rangers added Vladimir Tarasenko last week.
Based on this report from Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Gavrikov could be the next player we see moved…
“Gavrikov missed his third consecutive game while the Blue Jackets finalize a trade ahead of the March 3 NHL deadline. GM Jarmo Kekalainen would not say what the holdup is, but it’s believed the Jackets have a trade in place that requires another transaction to take place first.”
What immediately comes to mind here is that the Blue Jackets are waiting for the team that they’re trading with to free up some salary cap room in order to make the deal work financially.
Though all of the focus lately has been on adding a puck-moving defenceman, there’s been talk for months that the Oilers are interested in acquiring Gavrikov, a play-it-safe defender to play on the left side of their second pairing. It’s reasonable to assume that general manager Ken Holland might feel more pressure now to add a defensive defenceman like Gavrikov given the team has allowed 14 goals in three consecutive losses to the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, and New York Rangers.
The Oilers recently sent Dylan Holloway and Vincent Desharnais down to the AHL in order to open up enough salary cap room to activate Kailer Yamamoto from the Long-Term Injured Reserve and are currently operating with an active roster that features only 12 forwards and six defencemen with no spares.
If the Oilers are going to add somebody, another contract will have to be going out the other way in order to make it work. Jesse Puljujarvi seems likely to be the odd man out, as his $3 million cap hit would open up enough space to add Gavrikov at a $2.8 million cap hit.
There’s been some speculation that Holland is closing in on a Puljujarvi deal but nothing has transpired yet. If there is a deal to be made, it’s puzzling that it’s taken this long, as the Oilers are currently playing against the Avalanche in Colorado with 17 players on their bench because of the cap.
It’s also worth noting that Edmonton isn’t the only team who fits the bill in this situation. The Boston Bruins have been known to have an interest in acquiring Gavrikov and they have a defender, Mike Reilly, with a $3 million cap hit that they’ve been trying to dump. Reilly cleared through waivers in October and did so again in November and has played 24 games in the AHL this season.
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