NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets Defenceman Not Interested In Re-Signing

It appears that the Columbus Blue Jackets will be trading their top defenceman this season at the trade deadline despite their best efforts to re-sign him. Multiple sources (Pierre LeBrun and Mike Johnston) reported that Vladislav Gavrikov wants to test the market instead of re-signing right now with the team.

The Blue Jackets' asking price for Gavrikov is at least a first round pick. The 27-year-old will become a UFA at the end of the season and has a very favourable cap hit of $2.8 million for teams to work with. 10+ teams have shown interest, so the Blue Jackets are going to get the return they want.

Gavrikov leads the team in average time on ice, is third in blocked shots, and has three goals and 10 points this season as their primary number one defenceman since Zach Werenski's season ended. This is a similar situation to when the Blue Jackets traded David Savard to the Tampa Bay Lightning, except they feel Gavrikov has performed better to this point than Savard did when he was traded.

A first round pick and more could really help the Blue Jackets to continue turning things around. They need to do so within the next couple of seasons before too much of Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine's contracts are wasted. The team could still re-sign Gavrikov in the summer, but he wants to see what is out there first.

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