NHL Rumors: Vladislav Gavrikov to be scratched until traded, and Ryan O’Reilly update
The NHL Rumors Mill is getting it’s annual health exam. As the March 3 trade deadline fast approaches, it’s being put through the paces of rampant trade news and speculation.
With less than two weeks to go before no more deals can be made for this season, players are being held out of the lineup to avoid injury. The Arizona Coyotes have done that with Jakob Chychrun, and you can add another name to the mix.
NHL Rumors: Vladislav Gavrikov scratched
Another prized defenseman that is available for a trade is Columbus Blue Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov.
On Tuesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that he will be a healthy scratch for tonight’s matchup versus the New Jersey Devils due to “trade-related reasons.”
Gavrikov, 27, has 10 points in 52 games this season. The pending UFA also has a nice cap hit of $2.8 million, which many contenders can squeeze into their lineup with minimal or no salary retention.
The top rumored trade destinations for his services are the Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Other possibilities include the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings, who are expected to be trading for the aforementioned Chychrun.
NHL Rumors: Ryan O’Reilly back from injury
St. Louis Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly is back from injury and looking ready for a playoff run. It just won’t be with the Blues.
O’Reilly, 32, scored a goal in his return to action on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes. For the season, he’s managed just 17 points in 38 games, but contenders are lining up to acquire him by the trade deadline.
The pending UFA wants to stay with the Blues and is even open to a discount. However, there’s nothing to rule out a trade at the deadline to help St. Louis now and re-sign with the team as a free agent in July.
“Yeah, we’re starting to get a little dialogue going,” O’Reilly revealed to The Athletic. “I think there will be some talks kind of going forward here, but yeah, there’s no timeline or such. That’s kind of all I can really give you on that. This is where I want to be. I hope I don’t get moved.”
St. Louis are sellers as they sit 10 points out of a playoff spot starting play today. They already began the process of selling by sending Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola to the New York Rangers last week. Over the 7-10 days, it’s expected they will deal Ivan Barbashev and O’Reilly as well.
As far as teams linked to O’Reilly, both the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs have been discussed the most. I would not rule out the Boston Bruins, who really need to add depth at center.