Ivan Provorov headlines complex 3-way trade between Flyers, Kings, Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets are adding to their blue line while the Kings clear cap space in a complex three-way deal.

The Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, and Columbus Blue Jackets are linking up to accomplish very different goals in a convoluted three-way trade.

Ivan Provorov headlines the deal, with the defenseman heading from Philadelphia to Columbus.

Philadelphia comes away with the biggest haul, landing goaltender Cal Petersen, defenseman Sean Walker and prospect Helge Grans from Los Angeles, while also adding a first-round pick and two second-rounders.

Los Angeles is retaining 30% of Provorov's contract and receives veteran defenseman Kevin Connauton and forward prospect Hayden Hodgson.

In Provorov, the Blue Jackets are getting a defender who has consistently skated top-line minutes in recent years, averaging 24:28 for the Flyers since the beginning of the 2017-18 season. The 26-year-old is coming off a 27-point campaign and is signed through 2024-25. His cap hit will be $4.725 million after the Flyers retain 30%.

He figures to play a major role for a Blue Jackets team with a thin defense corps and is currently signed through 2023-24, but he's also coming off a middling season where he stirred up controversy by refusing to wear a Pride Night jersey.

"Improving our blue line has been a priority for us and acquiring Ivan gives us an established left-shot defenseman who is still a young player with his best seasons in front of him," Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said in a press release. "He immediately improves our group on defense as he is durable, has great skill, skates well, is an excellent passer with an accurate shot and can effectively play at both ends of the ice."

Ivan Provorov is on the move in a three-way deal between the Flyers, Kings and Blue Jackets.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Ivan Provorov is on the move in a three-way deal between the Flyers, Kings and Blue Jackets. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Petersen, 28, comes with a bloated $5 million cap hit through 2024-25 and had a save percentage of .890 over the past two seasons with the Kings. Between 2018-19 and 2021 he had a save percentage of .916 and GSAA of +11.0, so the Flyers may believe he has a bounce-back effort in him.

Walker is a stay-at-home right-shot defenseman who posted 13 points in 70 games last season playing in a third-pair role in Los Angeles. The 28-year-old is on the books for $2.875 million in 2023-24 before hitting unrestricted free agency.

For the Kings, this deal might clear enough space to help them re-sign in-season acquisition Vladislav Gavrikov — a 27-year-old defenseman who played a major role for Los Angeles down the stretch.