As the trade deadline approaches, the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to straddle the line between contender and pretender. As they are currently on the outside looking in, it only makes sense, as the deadline approaches, to see where certain players may be headed.
David Savard is the first player we'll take a look at. Due to a multitude of factors, he has a real chance to be one of the top options come deadline time.
Here are three destinations that make sense for the right-handed defenseman:
The Avalanche make sense for a multitude of reasons. The first is the Columbus connection with assistant general manager Chris McFarland working for the Avalanche (who was involved in drafting Savard from Moncton of the QMJHL). He has seen Savard up close and personal, and knows his strengths and limitations.
Colorado has also been playing several defensemen that have minimal NHL experience in the lineup. The Sam Girard and Cale Makar's of the world don't need to be worried about, but Ryan Graves and Jacob McDonald may give the team some pause. Savard would instantly bring veteran savvy and minute-eating ability for the team.
The Avalanche are going to be contenders, and if they can get someone that can be plugged right away into the lineup, it is only going to solidify their position in the Western Conference.
Similar to the Avalanche, the Panthers have Bill Zito as general manager and he knows the value of Savard and what he can bring to the team. Their best defenseman, Aaron Ekblad, has a 12-week timeline after his terrible leg injury this past week.
Their top right handed defensemen after Ekblad are Anton Stralman, Radko Gudas and (while left-handed) Markus Nutivaara is playing his off-side. They have the cap space, they have the draft capital, and if they continue with how they have been performing, it is only going to make sense to add a defenseman like Savard.
This move depends on how the Blue Jackets view keeping someone like Savard within the makeshift division.
This final entry is a little more out there than any other selection. The Canadiens have a fine defensive core, but they are in a contending position and likely will need reinforcements outside of their top two right-handed defensemen: Shea Weber and Jeff Petry. They have a lot of draft capital, and they would be salivating adding a player that played in the QMJHL.
Whether or not they want to deal with the process of quarantining before he heads to Canada remains to be seen and will be an issue for any team as the deadline approaches.
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