Vladislav Gavrikov could be on the move.
The soon-to-be free agent defenseman has been allowed to speak with contending teams regarding a potential trade, according to Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek.
The duo shared the news on Sportsnet's 32 Thoughts on Saturday night, and included possible destinations for the 27-year-old blue liner.
"I do think Edmonton and Toronto are among the teams who have looked into Gavrikov," reported Friedman. "What's interesting here is that Columbus is allowing teams to speak to Gavrikov as they try to facilitate, potentially, a trade for the free agent defenseman."
Allowing Gavrikov to speak with teams would make it highly likely that he would agree to stay with them beyond this season, despite his status as an unrestricted free agent. That could be critical in a team's desire to acquire him, as well as what the Blue Jackets get in return.
HNIC 32 Thoughts: Canucks/Boudreau, Tocchet, Adam Foote/Horvat/Kane & Toews/Pastrnak/Gavrikov/Jansen Harkins & Riley Damiani -- https://t.co/OluiY5LIQ9— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 22, 2023
Gavrikov has spent a majority of the season on the Blue Jackets top defensive pairing. He started the season on the second pairing, but was promoted following the season-ending injury to Zach Werenski.
In 44 games this season, Gavrikov has three goals and seven assists — but it's his steady presence on the blue line that has teams interested in the former sixth-round draft pick.
Marek added that the Blue Jackets financial restrictions could be a part of the reason for the trade.
"I do believe that Columbus' preference would have been to resign the talented defenseman," said Marek.
"I don't think that's going to be able to happen. 2.8 (million) is the AAV (average annual value) on the package there for Gavrikov, and just about any contending team can slide that into their payroll."
As for what the Blue Jackets may be able to get in exchange for Garikov, Marek reports that the asking price could be high.
"I think Columbus is looking for a package along the lines of a David Savard deal," said Marek. When the Blue Jackets moved Savard at the trade deadline in 2021, they acquired first and third round draft picks from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The trade worked out for both teams. Savard and his new team went on to win the Stanley Cup, while Columbus used the first-rounder to aid in the Seth Jones trade later in 2021. That resulted in Adam Boqvist, Cole Sillinger, and a first-round pick in 2022 that turned into David Jiricek.
The third rounder, part of 2022's draft, was spent on forward Jordan Dumais. In 39 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, Dumais has 32 points and 50 assists.
If Columbus can get a similar haul in an even-deeper 2023 draft, Gavrikov's days as a Blue Jacket are likely numbered.