NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets Defenseman Becoming Trade Candidate


After an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, the Columbus Blue Jackets have fallen to a 3-7-0 record. Things are looking bad for Columbus, as they are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and are showing virtually zero signs of improvement. If they cannot turn things around fast, they will surely be sellers, and Vladislav Gavrikov will be their biggest trade candidate.

Gavrikov is a pending UFA who has quietly emerged as a top-four defenseman at the NHL level. He is coming off a season that saw him record 33 points in 80 games, so he can provide decent offense from the point while at his best. However, he also has been heavily praised for his steady defensive play. The 6-foot-3 d-man also plays a heavy game, so he provides a bit of everything. Thus, contenders will be all over him if made available.

It will be interesting to see if the Blue Jackets can either get back into the playoff hunt or convince Gavrikov to stay. If not, expect them to get a solid return for the 26-year-old at the deadline.

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