Despite some conflicting reports, it does seem as though there has been movement in the Vladislav Gavrikov trade watch. The Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman has been held out of the lineup for several games, and Aaron Portzline of The Athletic writes that he has “essentially already been traded.” The acquiring team just has other transactions to pull off before the deal can be made official.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period tweets that the team is the Boston Bruins, reporting that the two clubs have the framework of a trade in place. Boston is working to clear cap space, but Pagnotta notes that the Blue Jackets won’t wait around forever. Matt Porter of the Boston Globe adds that no official deal is in place, though the two teams have discussed Gavrikov.
The Bruins have just $1MM in LTIR relief and only 21 players on the roster, meaning a cap-clearing move would likely have to be made to fit Gavrikov in at all. That is, of course, unless the double-retention strategy that teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs have used comes to pass, though that would require even more assets from the Bruins.
Rumors have been swirling around the Bruins for weeks, with most pointing to left defense as the spot they will target in any deadline deals. Jakob Chychrun’s name had been thrown around, but Gavrikov has a considerably lower cap hit and will likely require fewer assets to acquire. That’s not to say he’ll be cheap, as we’ve seen with physical defensive defensemen in the past. Every contender wants to add depth at the deadline, and there are usually only a handful of defenders on the market capable of playing upwards of 20 minutes a night.