Reports suggest Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is looking to make a defensive upgrade ahead of the NHL trade deadline in the form of Russian Vladislav Gavrikov. The Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman, an unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $2.8M, might cost a first-round pick with the Edmonton Oilers also interested in trading for his services.
OMAR: Vladislav Gavrikov. That's the name that a lot of Leafs fans, you and I, are all talking about. Why? Because apparently the Leafs have looked into him. Apparently the Columbus Blue Jackets have actually given teams new opportunities to talk to the pending unrestricted free agent and does it make sense? I've been a big proponent of the Leafs getting a top six forward, preferably a second line left winger, ahead of the playoffs at the deadline.
Now does that mean that we can add to the blue line? Well, no. Gavrikov himself, he's a tall-- he's a minute eater on Columbus. He plays on the top power play. He's a shut down guy. He doesn't necessarily hit, but, you know, but he's great at controlling and controlling the play and controlling the neutral zone, making things really difficult for the opposition. That would be pretty cool to have on this roster. Now like my other question is if the Leafs were to trade for Gavrikov, what would they have to give up?
Apparently the price is a first and a third, or a first plus. Kyle Dubas has said he doesn't want to give up a first round pick. Now I've been a proponent of yeah, OK, keep the first round pick, but like if there is a deal that comes across that you can't refuse then you send that pick to whoever wants it, and you get that player. I don't know if Gavrikov is that is that person especially considering what the Leafs have on defense anyway. Granted, what the Leafs have on defense hasn't really earned any like, yeah, for sure, that's 100% worth.
Considering the fact that they haven't been out of the first round since, you know, that's so sad how the I have to thought-- I have to think about how long it's been. But if Gavrikov is coming in, then who is leaving? This hole out of the lineup. This hole go the other way in the trade. You know, well, how-- what does that mean for Timothy Liljegren who's had an amazing season? What does that mean for Rasmus Sandin who I think has taken his game up to the next level? Conor Timmins, what happens there? So I don't know.
I really don't think that the main move should be a defenseman. I think it'd be cool to have a deal like what happened with Giordano last year where you got to defenseman, but you also got a forward as well. Granted, I think the Leafs need a more higher impact offensive forward to be the main get at the deadline and not necessarily a defenseman. So it will be interesting to see how it goes there. A lot of Leafs fans seem to kind of be up and down about it. There are some Leafs fans who are like, yeah, that'd be cool. And the other Leafs fans here say no, actually, let's not use our first round pick there.
And again, there are others who are just waiting to see what happens and I'm kind of along those lines as well. I'm just waiting to see what happens. If the Leafs do make a move and it ends up with them having to give up a first round pick. I really hope it's not Gavrikov and I hope it's someone a little more flashy and skilled, but at the end of the day, it's not my roster. It's not our roster to construct. It's Kyle Dubas' to construct and again, if there's ever a year to really make use of the trade deadline and come out as a deadline winner, it would be this one.