Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov hasn’t played in three straight games since Columbus has held him out of the lineup for “trade-related reasons.” While seems unlikely that Gavrikov remaining sidelined is an ideal situation for any involved party, he still has not yet been traded as some other big names across the league have. But there could be a reason for that. According to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline, it’s believed the Jackets have a trade in place [for Gavrikov] that requires another transaction to take place first.” (subscription link)
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen has not commented on the lingering nature of Gavrikov’s trade-related absence, but it seems reasonable that a team interested in acquiring the defenseman would need to first make a move in order to pave the way for his arrival. Cap space around the league is heavily limited, and while Gavrikov is relatively inexpensive at a pro-rated portion of his $2.8MM AAV, some interested parties may still need to find a way to move money out or secure a third-party “cap broker” before they can afford Gavrikov. So, based on Portzline’s reporting, it seems wise to look out for any transactions that seem relatively anonymous or insignificant, as that move could be the one that gives the green light for a Gavrikov trade.
Now, for some more notes from across the NHL:
- The St. Louis Blues have already parted with Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, Niko Mikkola, and Noel Acciari this deadline season, and versatile two-way forward Ivan Barbashev could be next. While the 27-year-old pending unrestricted free agent’s scoring numbers have declined from where they were last season (when he scored 26 goals and 60 points) Barbashev remains on pace for more than forty points of offense. He’s a widely-respected two-way contributor as well, and The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa writes that the Bruins are expected to have some interest in acquiring Barbashev, noting the familiarity between the player and Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery, a former assistant coach in St. Louis. (subscription link) While the Bruins have a roster without many glaring issues, adding another strong forward to their mix would make them all the more formidable of an opponent.
- The ultimate price tag for any interested buyer in the Ottawa Senators could reach as much as $1 billion, according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, via the Bob McCown podcast. While the Senators are generally valued a decent ways below that billion-dollar threshold by most public evaluators, a competitive bidding process between several motivated parties could be what helps push up the price for the franchise in Canada’s capital. While it’s no guarantee the final number gets that high, a billion-dollar sale would represent a positive development for the league, as relatively recently the Pittsburgh Penguins (who are widely regarded to be in a more lucrative market than the Senators) went for a reported sale price of around $900MM.