Don Sweeney has made at least one NHL trade deadline deal in each of his seven seasons as Boston Bruins general manager. Is he about to make it eight in a row?
The Bruins are the “front-runners” to acquire defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov from the Columbus Blue Jackets, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Ty Anderson reported on NBC Sports Boston’s “Sports Sunday.”
“It seems like they’re closing in on a deal for Vladislav Gavrikov from Columbus,” Anderson told host Michael Felger, as seen in the video above. ” … The belief is that the Bruins have to make a trade before they can finalize this deal to bring in Vladislav Gavrikov, a 6-foot-3 left-shot defenseman who plays a lot of D-zone minutes, a lot of hard minutes.
“But it seems like the Bruins are going to win that bidding war provided they can clear some cap space and free up the money to bring him in.”
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The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reported over the weekend that it’s “believed” the Blue Jackets “have a trade in place that requires another transaction to take place first.” Portzline didn’t specify the other team involved, but based on Anderson’s intel, it sounds like that team could be the Bruins.
Gavrikov would be a solid addition for the B’s who could bring depth and toughness to Boston’s blue line. The 27-year-old has averaged over 22 minutes per game since the beginning of the 2021-22 season and ranks fifth in the NHL in short-handed time on ice per game (3:31), so he could help bolster the team’s top-ranked penalty kill as well.
It sounds like the Bruins would have to part with multiple draft picks to land the Russian defenseman, however.
“They want the David Savard package,” Anderson said of Columbus’ asking price for Gavrikov. “That’s a first round pick, a third round pick and fourth-round pick. Keeping in mind the Bruins do not have second-round picks this year or next year, you’re talking about a lot of draft capital out the door.”
As Anderson noted, the B’s would have to make another trade first to clear cap space for Gavrikov. The fourth-year veteran is also set to hit free agency this offseason after his three-year, $ 8.4 million contract ($ 2.8 million AAV) expires. Boston is in win-now mode, however, and if Sweeney believes Gavrikov can bolster the team’s odds of winning a Stanley Cup, it might be worth making the deal.
Check out the video above to hear more from Anderson on Gavrikov and Arizona Coyotes star Jakob Chychrun, who is the top defenseman on the trade market but would come at an even steeper price.